What Are the Best Tips for Preparing Stuffed Goose?

Jennifer Leigh

Stuffed goose can be a good main course when it is properly prepared utilizing techniques that have been honed in various cultures over thousands of years. Goose contains a high percentage of fat compared to chicken and turkey, and the fat needs to be removed or rendered so that the meat tastes lean and succulent. Individuals should choose a smaller bird, from 8 to 12 pounds (17.6 to 26.4 kilograms), with a layer of fat covering it, to optimize tenderness. Once the bird has been prepped for cooking, stuffing can be added prior to the bird being roasted. There are many varieties of stuffing available for goose depending on individual taste and culture.

Whole chickens can be stuffed and trussed with twine and herbs before baking.
Whole chickens can be stuffed and trussed with twine and herbs before baking.

Shoppers should choose a goose that looks and smells fresh for stuffed goose. Once the bird has been washed and dried, excess pockets of fat can be removed from inside the cavity of the bird. This fat can be slowly cooked over low heat and used for roasting and baking in the future, a process known as rendering. At this time, it is necessary for the skin and layer of fat covering the goose to be pricked with a fork so that the fat can exit while being roasted. The meat should not be pricked, as this can lead to toughness in the finished stuffed goose.

Some Jewish recipes involve stuffing a goose with vegetables such as cabbage.
Some Jewish recipes involve stuffing a goose with vegetables such as cabbage.

There are many types of stuffing that can be used in stuffed goose. Chestnut stuffing is a popular tradition for the Christmas holiday and includes such items as breadcrumbs, chicken stock, and chestnuts. Dried fruit can be added to stuffing for a slightly sweet twist, and sausage is occasionally added to provide smokey flavor and heartiness. Jewish recipes involve stuffing a goose with apples, cabbage, and chestnuts. The stuffing should be chosen depending on personal taste and preference, as well as any cultural heritage that the chef is presenting.

After the goose has been loosely stuffed, its legs should be tied closed with twine to prevent stuffing from falling out and to provide even cooking. The goose should then be placed in a roasting pan, on top of a roasting rack, and roasted in an oven preheated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius) for one hour. At this time, the oven temperature can be lowered to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius) for an additional one and one-half to two hours. The interior temperature of the stuffed goose should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) when it is finished.

Roasting stuffed goose will require the help of a roasting pan.
Roasting stuffed goose will require the help of a roasting pan.

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Discussion Comments

Krunchyman

I don't know where I can find geese at my local store, but next time the holiday season arrives, I think I'll ask around.

Also, I feel that sometimes, we get so caught up in tradition, that we fail to realize that there's much more variety to holiday cuisines than we think.

In other words, we don't have to eat turkey ever year. Ham, duck, geese, and even chicken are other suitable options.

Euroxati

@Hazali - This is just my opinion, but I don't think all geese have a lot of fat in them. It's possible that the article is (indirectly) referring to when geese are force fed.

Before sending them off to the shop, some people force feed geese so that they can be fattened up for the holiday seasons.

I think this may be one of the reasons why geese have so much fat in them. Regardless, I'm glad that the process for removing it is simple enough, though it requires some precision.

Hazali

Not only is this an interesting article, but I really like how the topic being discussed deviates from the usual holiday tradition of turkey and chicken. In fact, do a lot of people even eat goose during Christmas and Thanksgiving? Obviously, there are some that do, but considering how obscure it seems, I'm assuming that it's not very likely.

Also, I noticed that it said geese tend to have a lot of fat, especially when compared to the other "holiday" birds. Why is this?

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