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Your goose is cooked
December 22, 2011 4:21 AM   Subscribe

Christmas dinners are here again, so most of you are wondering how to cook a goose. Some of you will spend 16 hours for your roasted Christmas goose. Others prefer the German Weihnachtsgans style, with apples. Sophisticated cooks do their Christmas goose sous vide.
posted by twoleftfeet (27 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, my goose was cooked years ago.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:24 AM on December 22, 2011


Ah, hell, just noticed your post title, twoleftfeet. Did the same damn thing yesterday with the ping pong post.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:28 AM on December 22, 2011


The one time I've had goose, it was smoked and incredibly delicious.
posted by Muttoneer at 4:39 AM on December 22, 2011


Did the same damn thing yesterday with the ping pong post.

You really have no idea how difficult it is to have a traditional Christmas.

I've been all over the city, trying to find a supermarket that carries fresh goose. Beyond that, my children have been crying out for figgy pudding. The kids are outside my door, even now chanting: "We won't go until we get some. We won't go until we get some. We won't go until we get some, so bring some out here."

I'm not even sure what "figgy pudding" is.

I hate Christmas.
posted by twoleftfeet at 4:47 AM on December 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


I've had goose exactly once in my life, and loved it. I can't even tell you where, in my benighted corner of the state, I could even buy a goose, be it fresh or frozen, wild or farmed.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:55 AM on December 22, 2011


Traditionally geese were cooked on a spit over an open fire. The British were the acknowledged masters of roasted game birds. The definitive recipe for Sawse Madame was published in 1390 in a cookbook compiled by the master cooks of the court of Richard II called Forme of Cury.

Pretty cool recipe as it involves smiting the bird to pieces after it is cooked.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:02 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I cooked a goose just last weekend for our Christmas party. "Mastering the art of French Cooking" was a big help here. Here's what I did:

-The weekend before the party I bought the goose from a local specialty shop. The goose was fresh, and it kept fine in the fridge for the whole week.
-Wednesday night (party was on Saturday), I unwrapped the bird, removed the giblets, and scalded it. Put a pot of boiling water on the stove and dunk the whole bird in the pot of water for one minute. My pot wasn't big enough, so I did half, flipped the bird over, and then did the other half. The goose is going to get very slick at this point (not to mention all the boiling water), so wear gloves.
-After scalding, the goose went on a cooling rack set inside a baking sheet. I used paper towels to dry it inside and out. You can fit a surprising amount of your forearm into a goose.
-Goose goes back in the fridge, uncovered, until it's time to cook. This allows everything to dry out - you're basically dry aging the goose for a few days.
-I pulled the goose out about two hours before I wanted to cook it to allow it to come up to room temperature. During that time, I made a stuffing (from here as a matter of fact - much less bready and more fruity than other stuffings, it was quite good). Bird got stuffed. With a paring knife, I made small slits in the skin all up and down the breasts, legs, and back. This allows the subcutaneous fat an escape route. Finally, rub the whole bird down with salt and pepper. I would normally oil a chicken or roast, but there's so much fat in a goose it's not necessary.
-425 degree oven for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 350, then sit and wait for the goodness. Remove from the oven when the thigh hits 170. I used a standard broiler pan to cook it (the kind with the deep tray underneath and the slotted cooking surface) which was just barely large enough to hold all the rendered fat. You will probably want to remove some of the collected fat during cooking.
-LET IT REST FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY. Half an hour. Then you may carve.

The leg and wing joints are in a funny spot (if you're used to carving chickens), so you may not want to try carving this in front of people. I was able to recover over a quart of goose fat plus all the rest that I spilled in the oven.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:21 AM on December 22, 2011 [6 favorites]


I cooked a goose just last weekend for our Christmas party. "Mastering the art of French Cooking"

I initially read this as: I cooked a goose just last weekend for our Christmas party, "Mastering the art of French Cooking." It made your party seem way classier than our "drunk elementary school teachers and cookies" theme.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:46 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I initially read this as: I cooked a goose just last weekend for our Christmas party, "Mastering the art of French Cooking."

It was actually "Cambridge Test Kitchen" - it gave us a chance to try out a bunch of new recipes on our unsuspecting friends.
posted by backseatpilot at 5:49 AM on December 22, 2011


I have made over a dozen geese using backseatpilot's recipe above, and all turned out superb: skin so crisp people fight over it, tender flesh and tons of schmaltz! Oh, breakfast potatoes fried in schmaltz....

One thing our pilot implied but did not say explicitly is that the goose must NOT cook in its own fat you must elevate it on a rack or use some balled up aluminum foil.

Also, just to be clear, you do not actually cut into the skin with the paring knife; you cut into the fat, not the skin itself. The fat then renders, preventing the meat from getting that too-bitter gamey taste and bastes (semi-fries!) the skin.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:08 AM on December 22, 2011


If you want t o go really old school (medieval, in fact) how about some crane, heron, or eagle.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:42 AM on December 22, 2011


You can fit a surprising amount of your forearm into a goose.

Sounds like fun!
posted by stargell at 6:44 AM on December 22, 2011


Interesting point about the fat.

The French and German versions say to let the fat drip out. The Food Network version does not mention it at all.

Of the crazy and impractical but strangely compelling versions, The crazy modernist cuisine sous vide version says to leave the fat or to remove the skin, scrape the fat off and glue the skin back on with transglutaminase. The crazy 1390 version says to sew the bird closed so no fat comes out but to keep the drippings and add them to a posset (which historians say is either a sauce , or a beverage made out of curdled milk)

Edge to backseatpilot's and digitalprimate's French version I guess since they have actually cooked a goose.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:50 AM on December 22, 2011


You Americans eat goose at Christmas? It never occurred to me until this moment to even ponder than question...
posted by salmacis at 7:03 AM on December 22, 2011


Geese are considered pests in the suburbs here. Sometimes the local governments just go out and poison them. I've always wondered why no one bothers to eat them. Would they taste too much like the french fries and Chipotle scraps I assume they live on?
posted by JoanArkham at 7:05 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Once I invited 6 adult people and cooked one goose. There is surprisingly little meat on a goose (or duck). The Canadian goose is considered a pest in Europe and there is a plentitude here too. I bet one of those could feed six.
posted by Bitter soylent at 7:28 AM on December 22, 2011


One guest is making goose for my potluck Christmas this year. I've seen them in Safeway, Whole Foods, and the Cross Street Market, for those in Baltimore.
posted by postel's law at 8:03 AM on December 22, 2011


Run, don't walk, to Nigella's Christmas and use her recipe. Be sure to make the gravy.

While the goose is cooking, flip through the book like it was a porno mag, both for the pics of the food and the hostess.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Nigella ain't a /real/ chef with /real/ cred like those other Food TV assholes, but that goose is the fucking bomb.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:25 AM on December 22, 2011


Only this week did I learn a new old family story, that my Dutch oma passed off the traditional Christmas rabbit to her little children as 'Belgian chicken', so as to avoid a lot of tears.

Tears were still had regardless, as the kids couldn't fail to notice that their new pet rabbit was missing.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:38 AM on December 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Geese are like shrinky dinks: when you take them out of the oven, they're much smaller than they were when they went in. The difference is that the goose puts out massive, unimaginable amounts of grease.

The end product can be very tasty, but I can see where an everyday U.S. cook who didn't know what to expect might be disappointed. If you buy a big bird expecting it to stay roughly the same size like a chicken or turkey, it will throw off your planning.

Then you have to get rid of all that grease somehow.
posted by gimonca at 8:47 AM on December 22, 2011


Then you have to get rid of all that grease somehow.

Get rid of? Are you mad?!
posted by backseatpilot at 9:24 AM on December 22, 2011


If you want t o go really old school (medieval, in fact) how about some crane, heron, or eagle.

What, no Trumpeter Swan?
posted by Mister Fabulous at 9:25 AM on December 22, 2011


Around Thanksgiving, I got an email from my sister about how my Taiwanese mother was all nostalgic about goose during her childhood holidays. We considered it but between how pricey the goose was (around $60?) and some travel logistics, we went with hot pot instead.

I expect turkey this Christmas with my German in-laws. I'd give goose a try but I recently cleaned the oven (Zuni cafe chicken) and I really don't want to do that for another month or so.
posted by zix at 10:01 AM on December 22, 2011


Here is a novel goose preparation. [Mildly NSFW for work? May destroy sanity. Contains member of my grad school cohort. Those might also be my chicken feet.]
posted by stet at 12:21 PM on December 22, 2011


Simon Hopkinson's is the recipe for goose. You dry the skin with a hairdryer to make it crispy, then stuff it with a heady mixture of sage, onion and mashed potato. The goose fat seeps into the stuffing, but you still get plenty enough for six months' worth of potatoes. A gravy made with copious quantities of Madeira and redcurrant jelly is also involved. My mother makes it every year, and it is wonderful. Once you've tasted it, you will never want to eat pasty, papier-mache turkey (the meat that tastes like artificial meat![TM]) ever again. I've also made it for twelve people (we needed two geese) in a college kitchen; there was much japing around as we poked around in the abdominal cavity to scoop out the fat.
posted by Acheman at 2:31 PM on December 22, 2011


I'm wondering if you Americans could try looking for goose in Asian supermarkets. Its not that uncommon a meat among Chinese, particularly those of Teochew/Chui Chow descent.
posted by destrius at 6:36 PM on December 22, 2011


Mmm, goose. We occasionally have one for Christmas or Easter. If you're in San Jose, CA then Race Street Fish and Poultry will order them for you. It's my favorite, beyond duck and way beyond turkey. Greasy, yes, but you can use all that for frying the Christmas pudding for breakfast on Boxing Day.
posted by mdoar at 11:12 AM on December 23, 2011


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