Goose can be wild or domestic. Young geese, under 8 months old, weigh 8 to 10 pounds (3,600 to 4,500g) and are more tender than older geese. The rich specialty pâté called foie gras is made from the enlarged goose liver produced by force-feeding geese with grain. Confit is cooked goose preserved in goose fat.
Preparation, Uses, & Tips
Check for any feathers and remove from skin. Wash goose thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with paper towel. Goose should always be cooked until well done. For best results, use a meat thermometer inserted in the meatiest part of the bird. Goose is done when internal temperatures read at least 165°F (74°C). To test for doneness without a thermometer, make sure a fork can be easily inserted, and that when the meat is pricked the juices run clear (not pink).
Thoroughly prick the goose’s skin without piercing the flesh. Place goose on a rack in a shallow pan (though it should be at least an inch [2.5cm] deep), breast side up. Pour a small amount of water or stock in the pan. Place goose in an oven preheated to 450°F (230°C) for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350°F (180°C). Roast for 20 minutes per pound (454g), or until internal temperature reaches at least 165°F (74°C). Baste occasionally with pan liquids. If parts of the bird become too brown, shield them with foil. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.
Place goose in simmering cooking liquid (water, wine, or broth) that is flavored with herbs, spices, and vegetables. Cook a young goose for one hour; a goose weighing 10 pounds (4,500g) or more for two hours. Remove goose from stock and brown it by baking it in an oven preheated to 450°F (230°C) for five to ten minutes.
Store fresh goose in its original wrapping, over-wrapped with aluminum foil to catch leakage. Store in the coldest part of the refrigerator. Raw goose can be refrigerated for two days. To store cooked goose, remove meat from the bone, wrap meat in plastic or foil, and keep it in the coldest part of the refrigerator for no more than three days. Freeze fresh goose if you do not plan to cook it within two days of purchase. Store in original wrapping over-wrapped with foil, or wrap in foil or freezer bags. Be sure to press the air out of the package before freezing. Frozen goose can be stored in the freezer for six months. Cooked goose may be frozen in the same manner, unless the dish is made with sauce or gravy. In that case, pack meat tightly in a rigid container and freeze. Thaw goose in the refrigerator; never thaw at room temperature. In the refrigerator a whole goose will thaw within 24 to 36 hours. Goose may also be thawed by immersing in cold water. Leave goose in original unbroken wrappings, or place it in a watertight bag, and immerse in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Goose will thaw in about three hours. For quick-thawing of raw or cooked goose, use the microwave at the Defrost or Medium-Low setting, according to the manufacturer’s directions. Turn the goose as it thaws, between zaps; take care the goose does not begin to cook. If cooked goose is not served immediately, either keep it hot, between 140 and 160°F (60 and 71°C), or refrigerate it at 40°F (4.4°C) or lower. When transporting cooked goose to another dining site, place it in an insulated container or ice chest until ready to eat.