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The perfect Weihnachtsgans aka crispy, juicy goose...


No, I don't know how to make this happen, but I am absolutely certain that the well-informed hounds I hold in such high esteem may have a pointer or two :-D

Bought a 7 lb. fresh goose (alas - sans giblets) @the local farmer's market and am hoping to feast on a crispy skinned, non too fatty, juicy bird on xmas eve.

Is there a way to do it low and slow without having to fuss about it much? Because here's the catch - I've got some silly early eve get together, and was hoping to throw the goose in before I leave, and then just take it out of the oven when I get back. Lazy? Totally. But that's how it's gonna have to go down that night.

I made the 5 hour duck before (not particularly impressed), I've seen recipes where the goose needs to be dried in the fridge for 24 hours - no problem.

But then people mention having to baste the goose with its own fat (having some goose fat afterwards is an extra bonus) while cooking it, and .... well, I won't be around. I suppose I could leave the man at home to tend to the bird, but -

Long story short - any success stories with goose?


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  1. Seriously... no goose eaters or goose cooks out there in houndland? That's a bummer.

    1 Reply
    1. re: linguafood

      Saw Jamie Oliver make a goose on his Christmas special last week that looked insanely good. Here's the recipe he used:


      Sadly I have never cooked a goose of my own, but I hope you get some good tips from the other 'hounds! Happy holidays!

    2. Okay, since nobody else is piping up... I've only done one goose, but have roast a few ducks, and they're similar, right?

      I don't see any reason you can't do a verrrry slow roast - 250 or 275 - then crank the heat up to crisp the skin when you get home. The main thing is to avoid overcooking but render as much fat as possible, and a slow roast should do a good job of that.

      I've never worried about basting. Not chicken, not duck, not goose. Especially since you've already got so much fat to start with, dry heat should crisp it up very nicely.

      Especially because you'll be roasting it when you're out of the house, I would brine the bird. I've brined the last few ducks I've cooked, and IMO it really improves the breast meat.

      Good luck, and let us know how it turns out!

      1. Here are a few threads on the subject:


        They may be able to help! I'm planning to cook a Christmas goose with a friend for the first time ever this weekend! I'll let you know how it goes.

        1. I've cooked quite a few and usually just prick them all over and roast at 275-300 for a couple of hours (on a rack over a deep roasting pan, from which I pour the copious fat every 20 mins or so), then let them go at that temp until pretty much done (pouring off more fat if it accumulates), then raise the temp to 375 or so for 30 mins to crisp. I never baste anything. I wouldn't stuff a goose because it gets greasy - I put an onion and an apple, and some garlic and peppercorns, salt, inside before roasting.
          I'm doing a 14 pounder for Christmas (per imperial fiat of the lord and master whose favorite thing in creation is goose). Thinking of wrapping it in foil and roasting it like that for 90 mins or so, then unwrapping it and letting it dry off in the fridge overnight, roasting at 300 etc Saturday.
          Don't expect to feed more than 4 people max on yours (that's a pretty little goose, should be nice and tender).

          1. We roast the goose at 425 degrees F for the first 30 minutes, then lower the heat to 325 degrees F, and roast until done, basting occasionally with its drippings. No drying in the fridge, no special steps. Always has turned out quite good.

              1. Well, FWIW - our good Chinese buddy chimed in.... he suggested what I have read in some recipes, which is to blanch the goose in boiling water TODAY, to get rid of some of the fat.

                Then let it dry in the fridge overnight, rub it with salt, white pepper, and some toasted and crushed Sichuan peppercorns (boy, do I LOVE that idea!!!), and then cook it superlow at 225 or so for 8-10 hours.

                Is the guy completely bonkers, or will we have a nice, crispy bird?? Tomorrow night, we will know when we return from the ugly xmas sweater party. Delivery pizza or goose..... what will it be?

                (Am hoping it will be the goose. At $33 total, it sure'd be nice. Plus - my rotkohl and smashed potatoes wouldn't go with pizza so well.)

                7 Replies
                1. re: linguafood

                  That's too long - the collagen joints will dissolve in the bones...that happened to me w ducks. I'd go no more than 4 hrs at that temp for that size bird. The blanching and Sichuan peppercorns are a great idea though.

                  1. re: linguafood

                    I wouldn't think a bird that's going to be roasted 10 h would need to be blanched, but who knows, maybe all that time & extra effort/energy results in a sublime goose.

                    This time of year, there isn't any room in my fridge for a goose to dry out, so I'll be sticking with my same old method. If you try the blanch-dry-very slow roast method, let me know how it turns out!

                    BTW, here's a Saveur recipe for Viennese Xmas Goose: http://www.saveur.com/article/Recipes...

                    And courtesy of Schiltz Goose Farms in South Dakota : http://www.roastgoose.com/goose_recip...

                    1. re: linguafood

                      Should be tender; hopefully the breast meat will stay juicy. (Did I mention brining?) My only concern would be whether the skin will crisp up at 225. But if it doesn't, you can always raise the heat and have crisp skin before the pizza delivery guy would get there anyway.

                      Ein frohes Weihnachtsfest und alles Gute zum neuen Jahr!

                      1. re: alanbarnes

                        Maybe that's the way to go, then. Real low, not beyond 4 hours, and crank it up if the skin is all floppy and stupid. Because I cannot abide floppy skin.

                        Vielen Dank für die netten Wünsche! Hauptsache, ich zerstöre die Gans nicht ganz '-)

                        1. re: linguafood

                          Check out Jacque Pepin's technique- not blanching, instead steaming the goose in a covered roasting pan the day before, drying overnight, then roasting. Might be worth a try!
                          Roasted Goose with Crispy Skin

                      2. re: linguafood

                        linguafood, you're lucky to find a goose for $33. Goose where I live is costing $7.99/lb (Cdn), and the smallest goose I could find yesterday cost $85 including taxes. So we'll be feasting on Weihnachtsente instead of Weihnachtsgans this Xmas!

                        1. re: phoenikia

                          It is expensive here (NY) too, $5.99/lb at the very best - and $10.00/lb at Whole Foods. Got a 12-lb-er. Wish it were more common and cheaper.

                      3. If you want to keep it simple, just roast at 325 until thigh meat is 135, spooning off the fat a couple of times as you go. An onion, copious salt & pepper and a few herbs (thyme, rosemary, sage) in the cavity are also a good idea. Empty all of the fat from the pan, wipe it out and blast the bird at 425 - 450 for 10 minutes to crisp up the skin. This is a small bird, so be careful not to overcook it -- under all the fat, the meat is quite lean and the breast will dry out and get stringy if you're not on the ball.

                        If you want to fuss a bit more to get better skin, blanch the bird in boiling salted water for about 10 minutes, then air dry on a rack in the fridge for several hours. Roast as per the above.

                        Froeliche Weinachten

                        1. Maybe someone can chime in re: the difference between roasting at 425 F at the beginning vs roasting at 425 F at end of the roasting.

                          AFAIK, the traditional high roast at the beginning is meant to sear the bird, then it's slowroasted to prevent the bird from drying out. I would be concerned that a high roast at the end could dry the bird out while crisping the skin. Has anyone compared the results of both methods?

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: phoenikia

                            I've never tested the methods side by side, but for birds I blast at the end of the process. If you do it at the beginning, there's still a lot of fat & water in the skin, which then renders out and sort of defeats the purpose. As to drying it out, its all a matter of timing -- if it's not already fully done when you raise the temp, no worries. You do need to let rest (warmish place, uncovered) for 10 min or so before serving to let the heat equilibrate thru the bird.

                            1. re: rjbh20

                              ok, good to know! Thanks rjbh20 ;-)

                              1. re: rjbh20

                                It's also helpful to pull the bird (or whatever you're roasting) and keep it covered while the oven temperature climbs from slow-cooking to skin-crisping mode. Not absolutely necessary, but it does provide a little insurance against overcooking.

                            2. Bitte uns sagen, wie es war? How was it?

                              9 Replies
                              1. re: buttertart

                                Well, sorry to report that it really wasn't all that great. We ended up starting it off at 350˚F, with a thermometer in the breast, and took it out at 155˚F, after we had cranked it up to 425˚ for 20 min.

                                The skin was not crispy. The meat tasted like overdone roast beef. It was, all in all, a chewy, _relatively_ flavorful affair, tho you couldn't taste the soy sauce / sichuan peppercorn spice rub.

                                Me thinks I won't be making that again. Two days of being a head case, what with the interwebs being all over the place with temps and methods, etc. etc. etc.....

                                We also have a boatload of goose fat & water in a bowl, which will hopefully separate in the fridge over night. Then at least we'll have some goose fat to cook with.

                                Anywhos. The smashed potatoes and the red cabbage were lovely.


                                1. re: linguafood

                                  That's really too bad. So sorry you were disappointed. I always think the meat tastes like beef brisket though, it really doesn't taste like poultry. I hate to say it but I think you would have been happier with it done to 180 deg F, it would most likely have been more tender.
                                  If you haven't thrown out the bones they do make a nice broth - and if there's any meat left grind it up in the fp, cook an onion and some garlic, throw the goose in, spice it up however you like (I usually go with Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, some thyme or oregano, speck of hot pepper, a bit of dark soy) and use it as a filling in a spanakopita-type pie with filo pastry. That's heap tasty.

                                  1. re: buttertart

                                    That sounds like a great idea. The man has already de-meated the carcass (and cut himself in the process), so perhaps I'll throw some duck meat in the pan for brekkie.

                                    (Plus we have some leftover homemade breakfast sausage a friend brought over yesterday, that should be nice with a fried egg or such...)

                                    1. re: linguafood

                                      Mine turned out well - got it out of the fridge a couple of hours before chucking it in the oven, pricked it all over, stuffed it with 2 onions and a halved lemon, s&p, s&p outside too, roasted 3 1/2 hrs at 300 (temp about 170), took it out and let it sit on the stove for a half hour or so (was doing Hasselback potatoes in the oven at 425), put it back in at 425 for a half hour. Breast meat was very good but you couldn't call it juicy, not too much fat under the fairly crispy breast skin, scraped it off and crisped it up in a frying pan. I've been around geese being cooked since I was little (my dad's specialty or one of them) so kind of know what to look for, but they are demanding. He said you had to have applesauce with them, and it does cut the richness and add juice.
                                      Have 2 quarts of fat from a 14-lb-er.

                                  2. re: linguafood

                                    Ouch. At least you can make a meal of kartoffeln and rotkohl, nichts?

                                    And all isn't lost - you learned something! If you decide to try again, you have a data point to work from. If not, you've learned that you don't want to mess with roasting geese.

                                    Here's hoping your Christmas Day (and Christmas dinner) more than make up for any of last night's shortcomings.

                                    1. re: alanbarnes

                                      Yes, I learned that I probably won't ever make goose again '-). Really, too much of a hassle for what is a pathetic amount of meat, and not as tasty as duck at that.

                                      I'll save my goose cravings for German restos who know how to prepare a good leg.

                                      Tonight should be tasty, as our friend, an astronomer from Cyprus, has invited us to a 'Godless Pasta Parade': 7 courses of pasta. Oy vey.

                                        1. re: alanbarnes

                                          But if we eat spaghetti, won't it be similar to the whole bread = body experience?

                                        2. re: linguafood

                                          I think the German restaurant idea is a good one, they are a hassle. Enjoy your Godless Pasta! It has to be something spicy here tonight.

                                  3. Postmortem on our pretty tasty $83.00 Weihnachtsgans:
                                    I hot dinner for 2 of the breast meat - 1 whole breast between the two of us.
                                    Carcass disassembled, broken up to go back in the continuing poultry stock I have going.
                                    2 wings (not much meat on them, but they flavor beans nicely) and 2 leg-thigh portions put in the freezer, approximate weight 1 1/2 lb.
                                    Meat picked from rest of carcass, total 1 lb 4 oz.
                                    Let's say 4 more meals for 2, stretched (pie or whatnot, beans).
                                    2 quarts of goose fat.
                                    About 1/2 square foot of crisped-up skin.
                                    Total servings 10, $8.30 per, with the fat and skin as a bonus.
                                    Not as bad as I thought but hardly a budget roast!