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What do you think are the best parts (tasting and texture) of a goose, a duck, and a chicken?

K K May 9, 2011 01:01 PM

An experienced Cantonese Chinese BBQ butcher recently informed a family member what he thought were the best parts of a goose, a duck, and a chicken.

For goose, it is the thigh/leg.

For duck, he recommends the breast

For chicken, it is said that the most flavorful piece is a small section of the back, where there is very little meat, but a ton of flavor.

What are your favorite parts?

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  1. buttertart RE: K K May 9, 2011 01:03 PM

    Breast of goose, duck thigh, the elbow part of a chicken wing if cut Chinese-style (the wing into 3 pcs), the two-bone piece of the wing if not.

    1 Reply
    1. re: buttertart
      klyeoh RE: buttertart May 27, 2011 01:27 AM

      My exact preferences. Plus the livers from all 3.

    2. LorenM RE: K K May 9, 2011 01:09 PM

      1. Crispy skin
      2. Crispy skin
      3. Crispy skin

      5 Replies
      1. re: LorenM
        pramjockey RE: LorenM May 9, 2011 02:39 PM


        Beat me to it.

        1. re: pramjockey
          nooyawka RE: pramjockey May 10, 2011 07:34 AM

          I second that.

          1. re: nooyawka
            flavrmeistr RE: nooyawka May 10, 2011 08:55 AM

            All those in favor, say "Aye". The motion carries.

            1. re: flavrmeistr
              happenings RE: flavrmeistr May 13, 2011 12:18 AM

              I think LorenM and followers are absolutely corect and none of you is invited to my house!

              1. re: happenings
                meowzebub RE: happenings Jun 11, 2011 12:40 AM

                if it's really crisp and well-rendered, my "cook's treat" is the pope's/bishop's/parson's nose

      2. bagelman01 RE: K K May 9, 2011 02:49 PM

        Chicken>>>wing and oyster
        Goose or Duck neck if stuffed and roasted until golden brown and crisp (aka helzel)

        1. e
          escondido123 RE: K K May 9, 2011 03:04 PM

          Chicken and duck>thigh
          Goose>would bet the thigh. the only one I cooked got forgotten when we opened some really nice wine and turned to leather

          1. n
            nobadfoodplz RE: K K May 9, 2011 03:19 PM

            I like the duck breast on that critter
            I like the thigh section of the goose (turkey as well)
            Chicken, if I am standing there nibbling, the oysters go first, then the wings, followed by the leg, thigh, and I leave the breast for the rest of the famil.

            1. luckyfatima RE: K K May 9, 2011 05:20 PM

              I haven't ever had goose, but I love chicken and duck thigh meat. Definitely love crispy duck skin, too.

              1. Will Owen RE: K K May 9, 2011 05:28 PM

                Thighs all around, for me, no matter what the bird, though that chicken "oyster" is a lovely morsel; one thing I love about cooking a turkey is how the oyster can be the size of a small chicken thigh! Duck and goose breasts are almost as good; if you poach a chicken breast just until it's a very faintly blushing white, then it can be quite good too, but needs some dressing up.

                1. EWSflash RE: K K May 9, 2011 07:51 PM

                  Chicken- 1- gizzard, 2- thigh, 3- oyster (what the OP mentioned)

                  Turkey- 1-thigh, 2-gizzard, 3-everything else especially the crispy crispy skin right after it comes off the grill while it's resting and you're trying to finish the meal up and it's sitting right there looking so good and brown (ooh- slobber an reign self in)

                  Goose- never had, really looking forward to it

                  Duck- I have bad juju when it comes to cooking duck- never did it successfully despite several attempts, only I have had good duck gizzards (for me the only successful part of the duck cooking process, which I know is sad.

                  1. EWSflash RE: K K May 9, 2011 07:53 PM

                    OH- and chicken wings, too, only right now theyre the most expensive part of the chicken, according to my friend who owns a wings restaurant.Grilled or fried, it's all good.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: EWSflash
                      pdxgastro RE: EWSflash May 10, 2011 04:00 PM

                      The first things I eat when I roast a bird (helps that they usually cook first). And how outrageous that they're so expensive now!

                      1. re: pdxgastro
                        EWSflash RE: pdxgastro May 13, 2011 06:58 PM

                        Try an Asian or Jewish grocery- that's where i've found them regularly and deliciously.

                    2. s
                      Sharuf RE: K K May 10, 2011 04:35 AM

                      I'm very fond of turkey wings. Love 'em braised.

                      1. BobB RE: K K May 10, 2011 08:22 AM

                        Thighs x 3, especially duck when confited. If it's dine right you get the ultimate combination of meltingly tender meat and perfectly crisp skin.

                        1. ipsedixit RE: K K May 10, 2011 04:10 PM

                          Duck ... liver

                          Goose ... neck (i.e., Collo di Locio Ripieno)

                          Chicken ... (what else?) ... feet!

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit
                            K K RE: ipsedixit May 10, 2011 04:48 PM

                            As a kid, for chicken I loved the wings mid joint and the "bishop's nose" (butt) of the chicken. I'd eat the ovaries and gizzards and hearts back then too.

                            1. re: K K
                              ipsedixit RE: K K May 10, 2011 04:50 PM

                              I'd eat the ovaries and gizzards and hearts back then too.


                              I still do!

                              Roasted chicken butt is divine, as well.

                              And, by the way, what are YOUR favorite parts?

                              1. re: ipsedixit
                                K K RE: ipsedixit May 10, 2011 09:41 PM

                                Haven't seen ovaries regularly in aeons...but once in a blue moon one shows up in a chicken back I use for soup and I deep 6 it down my pipes quickly.

                                Chicken....hard to decide. I like the butt, the mid joint wings, the feet (particularly the palm of the feet), and the connective tendon or ligament thingy at the tip of the drumstick on one of the ends. Crunchy gizzards I love...but ultimately that piece of the back as described by the butcher I would agree has the most flavor in a poached chicken.

                                Duck - haven't eaten much non Cantonese or non Chinese duck preps, so I'll have to go with the breast (leaner cuts with less bone), or basically everything carved for a Peking Duck prep that isn't terribly fatty.

                                Goose - I haven't had a roast goose in over 20 years, but have had plenty of stewed/braised webbed feet....other than the thigh, I'd say the webbed feet comes a close 2nd.

                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                  klyeoh RE: ipsedixit May 27, 2011 01:29 AM

                                  We used to be able to buy roasted, caramelised chicken butts in Singapore - S$1 for 6 butts years ago, but haven't seen them anymore these days.

                              2. re: ipsedixit
                                raytamsgv RE: ipsedixit May 12, 2011 11:13 AM

                                Definitely the chicken feet, although the wings are a close second. I like duck breasts and neck. I haven't eaten enough goose to form an opinion.

                                1. re: raytamsgv
                                  EWSflash RE: raytamsgv May 13, 2011 07:04 PM

                                  What's a good way to cook chicken feet without the black bean sauce a la dim sum? I found them to be slimy, tendony, bony, and fatty, but that was at the dim sum place and I have no idea if they're good or bad there or anywhere because I've only had them once.

                                  1. re: EWSflash
                                    ipsedixit RE: EWSflash May 13, 2011 08:09 PM

                                    I found them to be slimy, tendony, bony, and fatty, ...


                                    That's what makes them so good.

                                    As far as prep, you could just boil them in salt water, star anise and some ginger. Or go a bit heavier and do a soy sauce and vinegar concoction.

                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                      EWSflash RE: ipsedixit Jun 5, 2011 09:37 AM

                                      A Jewish pathologist told me that the secret to making the best chicken soup is using chicken feet in the stock. Maybe i'll use some for that.

                                      1. re: EWSflash
                                        ipsedixit RE: EWSflash Jun 5, 2011 12:25 PM

                                        To this day, my mom says the best solution for smooth, baby smooth skin is to eat chicken feet. All that collagen does wonders for the complexion. Never buy lotion again!

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          K K RE: ipsedixit Jun 5, 2011 03:15 PM

                                          Yup, that plus a steady diet of pork knuckles (complete with tendons intact). Dr Seuss's foot book never mentions this.

                                          1. re: K K
                                            inaplasticcup RE: K K Jun 5, 2011 04:48 PM

                                            I don't know if it works, but I'm hoping it's true because I love pigs' feet and pork and beef tendon. :)))

                              3. i
                                igorm RE: K K May 11, 2011 11:05 AM

                                Thigh and leg for all three!

                                1. vil RE: K K May 11, 2011 02:54 PM

                                  In general: crispy skin >> thigh >> wings >> gizzards, heart etc. >> feet >> fat and bones >> breast

                                  And: goose >> duck >> chicken

                                  But for goose in particular, which I do not usually do not get much of, I find that the neck, gizzards, livers and other innards are extremely tasty.

                                  I will also watch out for the oyster next time.

                                  All this talk is making me hungry.

                                  1. byrd RE: K K May 11, 2011 03:01 PM

                                    The rendered fat 3X...

                                    1. i
                                      itsaboutfood RE: K K May 12, 2011 06:01 AM

                                      All of it except the bones.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: itsaboutfood
                                        ipsedixit RE: itsaboutfood May 12, 2011 10:05 AM

                                        Even the head?

                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                          Stephanie Wong RE: ipsedixit May 25, 2011 04:51 PM

                                          Duck & chicken brains are good (never had goose brains).

                                          1. re: Stephanie Wong
                                            ipsedixit RE: Stephanie Wong May 25, 2011 10:23 PM

                                            I never knew any of them had brains.

                                            1. re: ipsedixit
                                              Stephanie Wong RE: ipsedixit May 26, 2011 05:52 PM

                                              yeah, hard to believe.

                                      2. d
                                        drloripalooza RE: K K May 13, 2011 05:09 AM

                                        breast of goose and thigh, same for duck
                                        chicken: pope's nose --tip of butt

                                        1. m
                                          MadameZ RE: K K May 13, 2011 05:17 AM

                                          Duck leg (confit or roasted)!!!

                                          1. k
                                            Kitchen Vixxen RE: K K May 13, 2011 05:17 AM

                                            Chicken: Pope's nose (that little fatty part in back of the chicken at the bottom) and the loose skin in the neck area.

                                            Turkey: Pope's nose and the wing.


                                            1. c
                                              condie RE: K K May 13, 2011 05:18 AM

                                              The best part comes after the meat is removed; the part most people throw away. It is the cartilage tissue that is found at the ends of the bones!

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: condie
                                                ipsedixit RE: condie May 13, 2011 10:07 AM

                                                Love me some chicken ribs!

                                              2. s
                                                sparky401 RE: K K May 13, 2011 07:18 AM

                                                Shatteringly crisp skin from whatever section is crispiest. Then you eat the pope's nose, with those two meltingly satisfying globes of meat and fat all in one mouthful. You can finish your mini orgy with the oysters, content with the knowledge that any calories and cholesterol consumed with the fingers while standing does not count towards your daily totals. This is common knowledge, no?

                                                1. z
                                                  zenim RE: K K May 13, 2011 08:02 AM


                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: zenim
                                                    miriamjo RE: zenim May 13, 2011 08:16 AM

                                                    I'm with zenim , the liver!!

                                                    1. re: zenim
                                                      cowboyardee RE: zenim May 13, 2011 08:53 AM


                                                      Though the crispy skin and popes nose gives the respective livers a good run for their money.

                                                      Really though, there ain't many parts of these birds that I don't like.

                                                    2. s
                                                      StephanieTG RE: K K May 13, 2011 08:46 AM

                                                      I've eaten white meat chicken my whole life. It wasn't until recently that I was "forced" to eat dark meat (because my husband ate all the white meat!), and I can't believe what I was missing! It's so much more moist and flavorful. So my number one choice is the chicken oysters (LOVE!), and then chicken thighs.

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: StephanieTG
                                                        cowboyardee RE: StephanieTG May 13, 2011 08:56 AM

                                                        I've always been a dark meat guy, and I guess I still am. But sous vide cooking (to 137 f) has really made me look more kindly upon the humble chicken breast. Not the dry, nearly tasteless meat I grew up eating.

                                                        1. re: StephanieTG
                                                          EWSflash RE: StephanieTG May 13, 2011 07:28 PM


                                                        2. m
                                                          Mr Pasadena RE: K K May 13, 2011 08:54 AM

                                                          My mom called the chicken or turkey oyster the 'Pope's Bonnet' and it was always a joy to get that excellent tasty morsel. It is still my favorite part of taking a roasted chicken or turkey out of the oven.

                                                          I have to say that for a duck I prefer the crispy skin and breast, for the chicken it would be legs/thighs and wings as a honorable mention and for the turkey the drumstick.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: Mr Pasadena
                                                            Delucacheesemonger RE: Mr Pasadena May 27, 2011 06:47 AM

                                                            Pope's bonnet or hat to me was always the butt, while the oyster was the small morsel on the back tucked in above the top of the thigh. The French call the oyster, 'the part only an idiot would throw away'.

                                                          2. ChrisOC RE: K K May 13, 2011 10:41 AM


                                                            1. m
                                                              Morgan Crumm RE: K K May 13, 2011 11:03 AM

                                                              Any little bit that looks like a crispy critter is doomed to meet my mouth before it meets the table.

                                                              1. mmequeen RE: K K May 13, 2011 11:54 AM

                                                                The Pope's Nose, or The Parson's Nose (depending on your faith) - aka the tail, or the last part over the fence! LOVE IT!!

                                                                1. b
                                                                  Belsize RE: K K May 13, 2011 12:02 PM

                                                                  Foie gras, with or without the angels playing trumpets.

                                                                  When I roast goose or duck, (very hot oven, skin pricked and tightened with boiling water then rubbed with salt) I bring it whole to the table, give everyone a sharp knife so everyone can slice off the skin. By the time that is all gone the meat has rested, the potatoes in goose fat are ready and everyone is too greasy to care about which bit of meat they eat.

                                                                  3 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Belsize
                                                                    igorm RE: Belsize May 13, 2011 01:32 PM

                                                                    This sounds wonderful!

                                                                    1. re: igorm
                                                                      kssny5 RE: igorm May 13, 2011 04:36 PM

                                                                      When I weekly roast a spice-coated chicken or Cornish game hen at high heat, I first put the gizzard, heart and neck on to simmer in water used to make gravy later. My family has never even had the opportunity to try the innards because I never told them about the parts simmering; I nibble on the innards after about 40 minutes simmering. I serve the chicken, making sure I get a lot of crisp skin, and at least one wing, then debone the chicken, using the oyster and thighs for next-day chicken salad with celery or a chicken sandwich with cranberry sauce and a little leftover gravy. The carcass and any stray bits of chicken get simmered with carrots, celery and onion for chicken broth in the next day or two. Three eating events out of 1 chicken!

                                                                      1. re: kssny5
                                                                        Stephanie Wong RE: kssny5 May 25, 2011 05:10 PM

                                                                        I'd be really upset if the oysters & thighs didn't make to the table! I'm willing to share and don't have to get them all to myself, but like to be assured they won't be "wasted".

                                                                  2. t
                                                                    tweaver1945 RE: K K May 13, 2011 08:29 PM

                                                                    The Cantonese Chinese butcher is correct regarding the goose and duck; however, for the chicken - the part that goes over the fence last is just too greasy. I prefer the crispy skin answer.

                                                                    1. n
                                                                      nyurbiz RE: K K May 25, 2011 08:20 AM

                                                                      I'm with the butcher (and the guy in the movie Amelie). I like the oyster because it is moist, flavorful, and most people forget about it so that it is there for me!

                                                                      1. b
                                                                        BelovedofIsis RE: K K May 25, 2011 03:40 PM

                                                                        I'm a breast girl myself, for all three. However the thigh of the chicken entices me to the dark (meat) side.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: BelovedofIsis
                                                                          flavrmeistr RE: BelovedofIsis May 26, 2011 08:43 AM

                                                                          Thighs are my favorite for frying.

                                                                        2. mucho gordo RE: K K May 26, 2011 09:16 AM

                                                                          That's easy: Skin, breast and innards(primarily the liver)

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. re: mucho gordo
                                                                            inaplasticcup RE: mucho gordo May 26, 2011 06:13 PM

                                                                            +1 on the liver. :)

                                                                          2. s
                                                                            S_K RE: K K May 26, 2011 06:51 PM

                                                                            I don't think I've had goose before..don't remember.

                                                                            Duck--the breast..with crispy skin because duck is generally fatty so I like the meat there the best.

                                                                            For chicken I like the any dark meat...also I don't like it when chicken wing cooks throw away the wing tip because that's one of my favourite gnawing parts.

                                                                            1. David11238 RE: K K Jun 5, 2011 09:07 AM

                                                                              Crispy skin
                                                                              All of the insides

                                                                              I give the meat to my cats.

                                                                              1. mrbigshotno.1 RE: K K Jun 5, 2011 12:05 PM

                                                                                There are no bad parts on a Teal!

                                                                                1. h
                                                                                  Harters RE: K K Jun 6, 2011 01:39 AM


                                                                                  1. l
                                                                                    LEsherick2008 RE: K K Jun 10, 2011 09:14 PM

                                                                                    Crispy skin oh yes! Hmm I like chicken leg quarters which has the leg and thigh connected an now that its barbecue season I could eat those smoked with a thin layer of barbecue sauce. But if I have a whole roasted chicken before saving the bones for stock I break off the back bones and suck on them. Yum! Oh and turkey wings are great to. But I never had goose or duck.
                                                                                    BTW any one else love the crispy tails and fins on pan fried fish like fresh caught trout or pan fish.

                                                                                    1. c
                                                                                      chocolatetartguy RE: K K Jun 10, 2011 11:47 PM

                                                                                      As Amos Milburn says: the part that goes over the fence last (ref Chicken Shack Boogie). Properly roasted and browned.

                                                                                      Also can't complain about any skin from a fatty body part.

                                                                                      1. Rodzilla RE: K K Jun 10, 2011 11:51 PM

                                                                                        I like it all, but I really took a liking to chicken liver recently.

                                                                                        1. s
                                                                                          S_K RE: K K Jun 18, 2011 09:49 PM

                                                                                          I think I want to revise my answer for chicken. Chicken has a lot of cartilage so my favourite thing about chicken is the cartilage.

                                                                                          1. RealMenJulienne RE: K K Jun 20, 2011 02:22 PM

                                                                                            Duck - The leg from a tea-smoked or Peking duck with its crackling skin and rich, chewy dark meat.

                                                                                            Goose - the crispy skin that basically deep fries in a gallon of its own fat when you roast it in a steep pan.

                                                                                            Chicken - If it’s fried chicken the breast is the best part, because the breading seals in the natural grease and dark meat chicken needs to render some fat to be good. For preparations like smoking or roasting where the fat can drip away the thigh is the best by far.

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