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My local poultry farm just started carrying 10-14 lb goose, rendered goose fat and fatty goose liver, need advice

Never went out of my way looking for any of these items before, but this sounds like something different for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. The farm is only minutes away and I love to support them, especially their lastest ventures into the exotics. Last year I did a premade Turducken that I got at the supermarket and it was sort of a bust; luckily I served it as an experiment after a full Italian holiday meal so nobody starved and the cats were happy.

Should I attempt doing the roast, I know it's a lot more difficult than turkey and I've never made a whole duck to my satisfaction. There will only be four of us dining so the size is not an issue. Or maybe just do an appetizer with the goose liver? What would you do, those of you that know goose?

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  1. Be prepared for a lot of rendered fat when you cook that goose. My Mom made a goose once and only once in her lifetime, after it is cooked not that much meat is left.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ruthie789

      So it will be good with my husband's traditional 20 course Italian holiday meal (exaggerating, but only slightly!)

      1. re: Ruthie789

        I just read a lengthy discussion of goose-roasting in a cookbook I picked up at a yard sale. The goose-roaster didn't think much of the process and said that so much fat cooked out of a ten-pound goose that she needed a 3-pound Crisco can to put it in and there was barely enough meat left to serve four people. A different author, James Beard, says that the best way to cook a goose is on a rotisserie spit.

      2. I'm in the same boat - a local farmer is doing geese this year, in time for Christmas - and I've never cooked one before. I found this info: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/st..., which looks promising.

        Good luck!

        1 Reply
        1. re: CBabb

          Great recipes, and I like the Charles Dickens twist!

        2. i think duck is extremely easy using the '5 hour amazing duck' recipe from. . . saveur i think. i've never made a goose because i'm poor, but i couldn't imagine it being much different. treat it like a pork shoulder, not a chicken. its just a feathery pork shoulder. . . that quacks.

          one duck (5ish pounds) feeds two, I would have to think a 10-14lb goose would feed 4.

          frankly, the challenge will be cooking everything else with the oven filled with a goose for 5 hrs.

          some folk are weird about liver and especially fatty ones, so i would ask yourself how your guest would go for it.

          5 Replies
          1. re: j8715

            Others may know with more certainty, but I imagine the yield on duck is higher than that on goose. I just recall it being more bony and fatty than duck.

            1. re: j8715

              My husband found a frozen goose at Kroger without a tag. When he got to the checkout, they charged him $11 total for it! I think it's about 12 pounds. So, I am studying goose prep and waiting for Christmas, going the Olde English route. I've only made one goose in my life, thirty years ago. I remember it yielded a LOT of fat, and, unlike back then, I now know what a valuable substance this is! Several of the recipes I've come across say to prick the skin all over (without cutting into the meat), and boiling it before roasting it. I definitely want the skin to be crispy, so I'm actually considering applying a Peking Duck method to it. Any ideas?

              1. re: jilkat25

                LUCKY YOU

                Peking Duck method fine,DO YOU HAVE A KETTLE 20%+ LARGER THAN THE BIRD
                They are long

                1. re: lcool

                  I know, right!? I have several long roasting pans but nothing heavy-duty like Le Creuset. I think I would have to keep the skin intact and not pierce it to do it Peking Duck style. Don't you have to separate the skin from the meat and inflate it or something do get it to crisp up? I did read a really good tip online, to stuff the neck cavity full of dense bread so the neck skin doesn't collapse. That might even be a good idea with turkey, too. I never thought of doing that before. I've probably cooked 100 turkeys in my life and have stuffed, like, one, so I wasn't thinking about bread, generally. That's not counting filling the main cavity with onions, celery, apples, etc. I always bake cornbread "dressing" in a different baking dish, which I think is a Texas/Southern thing. I don't know. I have until Christmas to decide what to do the goose. I'll probably do a small prime rib roast, too, though, so hubby doesn't gripe if the goose doesn't have any meat on it after it's cooked. I'm only feeding 4 or 6 for Christmas, hopefully...

                  1. re: jilkat25

                    Ok ,nix the "Peking"

                    Just find a long enough pan,3" deep.If you resort to foil get a sheet pan under it.
                    Use potatoes as your "roasting rack".
                    I do my geese on a spit,dripping into a pan of potatoes and like above.

            2. What farm? Miloski's? Makinajian?

              Never done goose, and as far as duck, I can get consistent results with duck breast, but whole duck? Sometimes the skin never crisps, sometimes the meat is tough, sometimes there is so much grease I worry about a flash fire.

              I would definitely get some goose fat for frying potatoes, etc...

              1 Reply
              1. re: sbp

                Milowski, I got alligator from them last time; they are now carrying EVERYTHING weird and I'm loving it. The fatty liver is calling me, just have to figure how to treat it properly.

              2. Definitely goose fat for frying and adding to all sorts of things -- even the humblest oven-roasted vegetables become sublime when you add a big spoonful of goose fat. (and goose fat is very high in oleic acids....so as guilt-free as any big spoonful of fat can be!)

                You could confit legs and use them in cassoulet (or just eat them as confit. Yum)

                and fattened livers? JACKPOT! My favorite recipes:

                http://www.artisanfoiegras.com/recipe...
                'http://www.aftouch-cuisine.com/recipe...

                Not difficult **at all** -- although a little futzy -- but absolutely delicious with a little fig jam and a lovely sweet white wine.

                4 Replies
                1. re: sunshine842

                  Well, I have several fig jams I made this summer and I'd sure like to use them up over the holidays. Thanks for the recipes, I love chicken liver so this will be a big step up for me.

                  1. re: coll

                    Foie gras is **nothing** like chicken livers...in a good way (and I love chicken livers).

                  2. re: sunshine842

                    Could you use goose fat in place of, or in addition to, beef roast pan drippings to make Yorkshire Puddings (in a popover pan)? I'm probably making a small prime rib alongside my goose in case I mess it up! I also have a couple of containers of duck fat in my freezer.

                    1. re: jilkat25

                      OOOH yeah, Jikat - duck or goose fat would make delicious Yorskire puddings - tho you do want at least some beef drippings for that flavor too.

                      Sauteeing potatoes in duck fat is just sublime too!

                  3. My husband made goose for Christmas dinner for a few years. I think the low and slow method of cooking the goose is the way to go. For one, you get lovely rendered goose fat that is useful for many things, not the least of which is frying potatoes. The method I follow has you prick the skin all over being careful not to get down to the flesh, and then to turn the duck (or in this case, duck) every half hour, pouring off the fat as you go. Roast at about 275, periodically re-prick the skin, and when the goose looks like it's getting close to being done and has rendered all of its fat, turn the oven up to 400 and roast until the skin crisps. The problem with goose (aside from the surprising little amount of meat, is the go withs. Neither my husband nor I is fond of sweet tastes with our protein, and most suggestions for sides usually involve things like prunes. The most successful sides we ever made with goose were potato pancakes served with unsweetened apple sauce, and a hot slaw of cabbage tossed with bacon and Roquefort. Obviously, for a crowd, one duck would never do...

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: roxlet

                      The fat is intriguing me too, the same place sells duck fat of which I bought a pound and have hoarded and used sparingly in the past few months. A load of goose fat will be a big bonus.

                      1. re: roxlet

                        Ugh. I kept saying duck when I meant goose, and it's too late to edit. Hope you know what I meant!!

                        1. re: roxlet

                          For a crowd, one duck or one goose will never do! But I'm just thinking of 4 people with middle age appetites, so we're good. I saw prunes mentioned, I avoid them like the plague, but potato pancakes, applesauce and a cabbage dish are what I love to serve this time of year. Perfect!

                        2. re: roxlet

                          Roxlet, yours is the method I have found to work most successfully. The first time I did goose for Christmas I looked up recipes in historical cook books (similar to the ones in the NPR link above) and roasted the two geese at 375 and stuffed them with fruit. At this temperature we had to keep ladling out the rendered fat about every 20 minutes and even at that I was freaking out about a possible grease fire. The low and slow heat works much, much better and allows you to control the rendering.
                          As for the fruit stuffing, I quickly realized why no older recipes called for any kind of bread or grain stuffing. The stuffing is completely soaked with goose fat and bread would be inedible. We ended up discarding much of the fatty fruit because we couldn't figure out anything to do with it - too sweet for gravy, etc. I don't do internal stuffing at all anymore and I think that's better as well.
                          I love goose but it is expensive. Coll, you're so lucky to have found a local farm connection for it - awesome.

                        3. Wow - having access like that is stupendous. Is the fatty goose liver close to foie gras size or just large liver?

                          Anyway, get two geese because one roast goose should be enough for four. I have done a two-stage cooking in the past, first pricking the entire surface of the bird and then steaming, then roasting to color and crisp the skin. If you a rotisserie, you can skip the steaming step but you'll have to watch the cooking.

                          For the second goose, break it down so that you have two legs and two breasts. Salt down the breast and make goose ham/prosciutto, and salt down the legs so that you can confit them to either eat solo or to make rillettes.

                          The goose fat from the steaming process and the trim from the second goose will provide the fat necessary to do the confit, plus it's good stuff to cook with.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: wattacetti

                            I'm hoping the liver has something in common with foie gras, since they call it "fatty". If so, it could be a meal in itself for me.

                          2. Goose isn't hard to cook.You do need a large pan.It's a very LONG bird.You will get a lot of fat,keeps in the freezer beautifully.If you purchase a "bird",I recommend a 14 pounder for a better meat to skeleton ratio.

                            Preferred method of home kitchen friends that get a goose from me and are cooking it for the first time is Julia Child's MASTERING THE ART OF FRENCH COOKING.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: lcool

                              Thanks so much, I will start collecting recipes right away, Julia Child sounds like the obvious start.

                              1. re: lcool

                                I haven't done the version in Mastering, but Julia's The Way To Cook has a goose recipe that has worked very well for us. It's kind of steamed! But comes out very nicely every time.

                                1. re: Splendid Spatula

                                  I have one of those covered electric roasters, and once when I ran out of propane I cooked the Thanksgiving turkey in it. It was hailed by all as the best ever! Maybe that would solve the problem of excess grease too?

                              2. I roast a Goose almost every Christmas. It is not more complicated than coking a Turkey. I would say it is easier. Here is a good basic recipe for the Goose http://germanfood.about.com/od/celebr... I would suggest that you use the Neck and Gizzards to make a Broth for the Gravy Base. ( you may even be able to get the feet since it is from the farmer) Also some Mugwort in the cavity is particularly delicious.

                                A Traditional German Christmas Meal is a great way to have Goose.
                                Roast Goose, Cranberry sauce, Potato Dumplings, Red Cabbage with Apples and Speck, Brussel Sprouts and Poached Pears with Vanilla Sauce.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: chefj

                                  Those side dishes all sound perfect to me, if anyone doesn't like the goose they sure won't starve!

                                2. For the liver, slice it into 1/2-inch slabs and soak it in a maple syrup and kosher salt mixture for eight hours. Then, rinse it, dry it really well, score it, season it with salt and pepper, and sear both sides in a dry pan over medium-high heat. The trick is to sear one side really well, then simply cook the next side to doneness (just like with steak). When you touch it with your finger to check for doneness it should still be a tiny bit firm inside - not totally cooked through. It will get very gamey if it's overcooked.

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                    Thanks so much! I had foie gras for the first time this year in a local restaurant and I would love to have it come out half as good. They served it over toast with poached eggs on top, and I believe some aspargus under as it was springtime. It would truly be a full meal for me, just at that.

                                    1. re: coll

                                      You're welcome!

                                      Please report back on how your liver turns out. Foie gras is simply amazing (near perfection) when done like this. I would be very interested to hear what you think about the results of this method.

                                      1. re: 1POINT21GW

                                        I surely will, it will be sometime this holiday season for sure.

                                      2. re: coll

                                        You have to be careful when cooking with foie gras. It's mostly fat, and will literally melt away to nothing if you cook it too long.

                                        1. re: sbp

                                          That would be terrible. Thanks for the warning!

                                          1. re: coll

                                            I have to confess to being a little weird about foie gras - I don't care for it seared (but won't turn it down :D -- mi cuit, please, en torchon or baked in a bain marie) and don't like it with any sort of foofy add-ons -- a slice of foie, perhaps a spot of fig confit or onion confit (and I mean a pea-sized spot) and *maybe* a slice of lightly-toasted white bread with the crusts trimmed.

                                            Keep it simple.

                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                              I like it seared, or au torchon (in which case I find it best when it is at room temperature and the toast is HOT).

                                    2. I have never done a goose, but I've made the five hour duck several times, serving it with a non-sweet sour cherry compote, as MMRuth explains here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/501881

                                      I served it with Brussels sprout hash with caramelized shallots, corn with roasted red peppers and goat cheese, oyster dressing, and garlic mashed potatoes with mushroom gravy. All recipes are available online. I used two ducks to feed five adults.

                                      2 Replies
                                      1. re: JonParker

                                        I really need to get my duck down, considering I live five minutes from a really big duck farm. If I find the right recipe, and get the skin really crispy, maybe hubby will actually eat some! Right now I just get it at restaurants, and he won't even take a taste from my plate. That's why I'm waiting on the goose too, until we have company.

                                        1. re: coll

                                          Sounds just like my husband! But, he did bring home the goose (frozen) so I'm hopeful!

                                      2. "I know it's a lot more difficult than turkey"

                                        How do you know that? Did someone tell you? They're wrong.

                                        Maybe there is an extra step in prepping a goose, but that doesn't make it more difficult, looking at it in the way that cooking bacon and eggs is no more difficult than cooking eggs.

                                        In the last 15 years or so the price of goose has gone sky-high. You can pay $70 or more for a 14 pound goose.

                                        Plenty of recipes on the 'net.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: FrankJBN

                                          Whoa!! $70? The grocery store sold my husband a goose with no tag for 11 bucks! Uh oh. I hope it's edible! Either way, maybe I'll take the manager a plate!