It’s pretty hard to describe tastes with words, but the consensus of the Ochef team is that a goose tastes “richer.” All the meat on a goose is dark meat, so the taste is pretty close to that of the turkey’s dark meat. It is delicious – if you haven’t tried it, you should.
When purchasing a goose, look for a young one (no larger than 14 pounds) or it is likely to be tough. When you roast one, you will notice an enormous amount of fat draining out into the bottom of the roasting pan (a goose is an excellent candidate for roasting on a rack in the roasting pan), but do not be alarmed. Drain it off. The French (and a few brave souls in this country) save it and use it to roast or fry the best potatoes you will ever taste.
This is currently our favorite goose recipe, although certainly not the simplest:
In fall, when fresh, young geese come onto the market, the chestnuts are ripe and can be used to make a traditional stuffing. The method described here can also be used to roast any large poultry.
one 8-lb goose, with heart and liver salt freshly ground white pepper
For the stuffing: 1-1/4 lb fresh chestnuts 2 apples 1 stale roll 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup white wine 7 tsp unsalted butter 1 Tbsp finely chopped shallots 1 tsp salt freshly ground white pepper freshly chopped fresh herbs: 2/3 Tbsp parsley 2/3 Tbsp thyme 2/3 Tbsp marjoram
For basting: 1/4 cup soft unsalted butter 1/2 cup beer mixed with: 1 tsp salt
Wash the goose inside and out, pat dry, and season inside and out with salt and pepper.
To make the stuffing, peel and finely chop the chestnuts. Peel the apples, cut into pieces, remove the core, and finely dice the flesh. Dice the roll and sprinkle with water and wine. Finely dice the heart and the liver. Melt the butter in a frying pan. First lightly brown the heart, add the shallots, and then the liver, and sear only very briefly. In a bowl mix the chestnuts, the apples, the roll, and salt and pepper. Add more salt if necessary.
Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C) F. Stuff the goose and sew up the opening or close it with wooden skewers. Brush the goose with the softened batter, place it breast-side down in a roasting pan, and put it in the oven. When the breast has browned, turn the goose over and continue to roast, from time to time basting alternately with the salted beer (this makes the skin nice and crispy) and the dripping.
Cook for a total of about 2-1/2 hours, testing the thigh to be sure the meat is done. Skim the fat from the cooking juices, and serve the goose with red cabbage.
Yield: serves 4 to 6