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

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. 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

      My exact preferences. Plus the livers from all 3.

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

      5 Replies
          1. re: nooyawka

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

            1. re: flavrmeistr

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

              1. re: happenings

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

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

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

              1. 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. 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. 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

                      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

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

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

                      1. 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. Duck ... liver

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

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

                          11 Replies
                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            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

                              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

                                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

                                  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

                                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

                                  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

                                    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

                                      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

                                        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

                                          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

                                            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. Thigh and leg for all three!

                                1. 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. The rendered fat 3X...

                                        1. re: ipsedixit

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

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

                                        1. Duck leg (confit or roasted)!!!

                                          1. 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. 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. 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. re: zenim


                                                      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. 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

                                                        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. 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

                                                            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'.

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

                                                              1. 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. 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: igorm

                                                                      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

                                                                        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".

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

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. 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. Crispy skin
                                                                              All of the insides

                                                                              I give the meat to my cats.

                                                                              1. There are no bad parts on a Teal!

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

                                                                                        1. 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. 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.