A spiced Roast Goose that is super crispy and golden on the outside, tender and incredibly flavorful on the inside. With this detailed recipe tutorial you will learn how to make this special treat perfectly the very first time!
Roast Goose - A Popular Choice!
Roast goose is a highly favored specialty in my husband's family each winter. For those who are unfamiliar with its taste or cooking method, rest assured, if I could learn to do it, you can do it too! I learned to make this from my mother in law and father in law in Germany.
For some it may be an acquired taste, but it is highly popular for its "gamey" taste and richer flavor that is associated with dark poultry meat. If you are one of those people who thinks that turkey meat is too bland, then you may find goose to be much more flavorsome.
But let me warn you, this is one fatty bird! No worries though, I show you exactly how to render all that fat.
Goose Nutrition Facts
Goose fat has more heart healthy fatty acids (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) when compared to other animal fats such as butter, lard, suet etc. (source: USDA food composition databases)
You might also appreciate that the geese available in the US market are free range as they are not so commercialized like other poultry.
More Festive Meat or Chicken Recipes:
What Is Special About This Recipe?
- Pricking technique that ensures that the goose fat is nicely rendered while roasting.
- Dry brining method that helps flavor the goose superbly while giving a crispy exterior and tender meat inside.
- The goose is roasted breast side down initially and then flipped half the way, which ensures even browning and cooking.
- Basting with the juices and melted fat.
- Start the roasting process with some water in the pan and roast it covered for the first half.
- Tons of flavor from the spices and herbs!
How to Make It: Step By Step
(detailed instructions at the end of post)
Purchase And Thaw The Goose
- Get a young bird, preferably about 9 lb or less. But most often it is 10 to 12 lbs in the US market.
- Thaw the goose in its plastic cover. Inside the refrigerator it will need about two days.
- Another option is to use a method of rapid thawing, where the goose is immersed in cold water and the water is changed every half hour. It may take about 4 to 6 hours to thaw the bird using this method.
- You can also have your butcher do the pre-preparation of the goose and have it ready for seasoning.
- Plan to buy the goose at least 3 days before the cooking date.
Prepare The Goose
- Remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity
- Using a sharp knife cut off the first two joints from the wings. The knife will help you cut through the skin and you would have to snap off the bones in the opposite direction.
- Cut off the extra skin up to one inch from the neck.
- Remove the excess fat from the body cavity as well as possible.
- Cut off the goose's tail.
- Using a sharp pointed knife or clean needle prick all over the skin at an angle, without piercing the meat.
- Goose is a very fatty bird, so have lots of paper towels around while cleaning and preparing it for cooking.
Season And Stuff The Goose
- Drizzle a few drops of olive oil. Rub salt inside and outside. Then rub half a lemon all over the goose.
- Sprinkle mixed spices inside and outside and rub it well. Scatter dried herbs inside the body cavity. Place the goose in refrigerator 12 to 24 hours.
- Season quartered onions, apples and lemons with salt and herbs and stuff into the body cavity. Use less lemon if using tart apples.
- Bring the goose legs together and tie with a piece of kitchen twine.
Roast Goose Cooking Time
- Cook the goose for about 15 minutes per pound for medium rare and for 20 to 25 minutes per pound for well done. The goose is cooked when the leg meat is well done. The breast cooks faster than the legs, so one trick is to make slits where the thighs join the breast, half way through the cooking process.
Roast The Goose
- Place the stuffed goose, breast side down, over the rack in a roasting pan. Pour a cup of water in the pan. Cover and bake at 325ºF for about 1½ hours.
- Transfer the rendered fat collected in the bottom of the pan into a small bowl.
- Baste the goose with the juices and melted fat. Without lid, roast the back side until dark golden brown and crisp.
- Flip the goose and place it breast side up. Brush with juices and melted fat. Roast until breast side is dark golden brown and crispy. It is well done, if a sharp knife tip inserted into the thigh releases clear juices. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.
Tip: Well Done or Rare?
- How well done you want the goose to be is a personal choice I think. Several culinary professionals will insist on it being served medium rare. But my personal preference is well done - the skin was golden and crisp, the meat was tender. Ultimately it is your choice - you are the one who is going to eat it!
Roast Goose Temperature
- Roast the goose until the thickest part of the thigh registers a minimum temperature of 165ºF and the juices run clear. But I personally would let it go to 170ºF to 175ºF for more well done.
- For medium rare a temperature of 150ºF registered in the goose breast has been suggested but that does not meet the USDA food safety standards. But as I said before, fine dining restaurants do serve goose and duck medium rare.
Carve The Goose
- Using a sharp knife separate the legs from the breast.
- Position the knife on one side of the breast bone and slice downward and get all of the breast as one piece.
- Slice through the joint to separate the wing.
- Separate the drumstick and thigh and cut through it.
- Slice the goose breast. Arrange all the pieces on a serving platter.
Tips: flavor and serving suggestions
- I used a Persian mixed spice blend (advieh), but you could use any other mixed spice blend that works well with poultry. I would not use blends that are too intensely aromatic as goose has a more stronger flavor than chicken or turkey.
- For an unparalleled crunchy crust on your smashed or roasted potatoes, try using goose fat. It is considered to be the best thing ever for roasting potatoes!
Tools and Equipment Needed:
Other Festive Recipes:
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Spiced Roast Goose Recipe
- 10 lb goose whole
- Few drops olive oil
- 3 tbsp coarse salt
- 1 tbsp mixed spice blend (see note, I used advieh, Persian blend)
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 onions red, large
- 2 apples organic (I used Granny Smith)
- 2 lemon organic, small
- 2 whole garlic medium
- 4 thyme sprigs fresh
- ⅓ cup basil leaves fresh
- 2 tbsp oregano fresh or 2 tsp dried
- 2 tsp marjoram dried
PREPARE THE GOOSE
- First wipe the goose using paper towels, inside out.
- Remove the neck and giblets from inside the cavity and set it aside
- Using a sharp knife cut off the first two joints from the wings. The knife will help you cut through the skin and you would have to snap off the bones in the opposite direction and use the knife to cut through rest of the skin.
- Cut off the extra skin up to one inch from the neck. Fold over the remaining skin flap and use tooth picks to close the body cavity at the neck end.
- Remove the excess fat from the body cavity as well as possible.
- Cut off the goose's tail, also known as pope's nose.
- Set aside the neck, giblets, wing tips, fats etc and use for making a gravy if you wish.
- Using a sharp pointed knife, fork or clean needle prick all over the skin at an angle, without poking into the flesh.
SEASON THE GOOSE
- Drizzle a few drops olive oil over the goose. Reserve two pinches salt and sprinkle the rest inside and outside and rub it all over.
- Then take half a lemon and rub it all over the goose, inside and outside.
- Combine the mixed spice blend, 1 tsp black pepper and ½ tsp turmeric and sprinkle it inside and rub it into all corners. If using any dried herbs you can sprinkle some inside the body cavity.
- Mix 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp paprika, ½ tsp turmeric and rub it all over the outside. Place the goose in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
STUFF THE GOOSE
- Preheat the oven to 325ºF while stuffing the goose.
- Take the goose out of the refrigerator and let it rest while you prepare the stuffing.
- Peel and quarter the onions. Core and de-seed the apples and slice. Quarter the remaining lemons. Use less lemon if using tart apples.
- Sprinkle two pinches of salt on the onions, apples and lemons.
- Stuff the goose cavity with onions, apples, lemons, thyme, basil and oregano. If using dried herbs you may sprinkle it inside the body cavity before stuffing and also add some to the stuffing.
- Bring the goose legs together and using a piece of kitchen twine tie the legs and secure it well.
ROAST THE GOOSE
- Take a large roasting pan with a rack and transfer the stuffed goose, breast side down, over the rack. Pour a cup of water in the base of the pan.
- Cover the pan with the lid and bake for about 1½ hours. Then remove the lid. Transfer all the fat collected in the bottom of the pan into a small bowl. See notes for cooking time.
- Baste the goose with the juices in the pan and brush with a little bit of the melted fat. Cut whole garlic into halves and place on the rack.
- Put it back in the oven and roast for another 45 to 60 minutes until the goose is dark golden brown and crisp on the back.
- Carefully flip the goose using wide kitchen utensils and place it breast side up. Brush with pan juices and melted fat all over the breast side of the goose.
- Place it back in the oven and roast for about an hour until it is dark golden brown and crispy on the top also. It is well done, when a sharp knife tip inserted into the thick portion of the thigh releases clear juices.
- Check temperature (see notes). The whole process will take 3 hours or more.
- Remove the roasting pan from the oven, place a lid ajar, not air tight, and let it rest for about 30 minutes.
- Pour the pan juices into a small serving bowl, or reduce it further to thicken it and serve. Scatter some fresh basil over it.
CARVE THE GOOSE
- Transfer the goose to a wooden board to carve. Cut the kitchen twine from around the legs and discard.
- Using a sharp knife cut through the skin and meat between the breast and leg until the joint. Push down the leg and dislodge the joint and slice through it with the knife.
- Find the joint between the drumstick and thigh and cut through it. Set aside.
- Repeat the above two steps with the other leg.
- Position the knife on one side of the breast bone and slice downward, close to the bone and pulling away the meat from the bone. And do this from top to bottom and get all of the breast as one piece.
- Slice through the joint to separate the wing. Repeat the steps with the other side.
- Using the knife slice the goose breast, making sure that the skin is still attached.
- Arrange all the pieces on a serving platter. Also serve the stuffing and the thickened pan juices.