As an extra bonus, a goose also leaves behind a gift: lots of delicious goose fat. You’re likely to run out of the fat before you run out of ways to use it. Roast or sauté vegetables, pan-sear seafood, fry chicken, make duck or goose confit or chicken liver pate…the possibilities are endless. Rendered goose fat keeps for months in the refrigerator or just about forever in the freezer.
It's true that the meat-to-carcass ratio on a goose is lower than it is on a turkey. But goose meat is much richer than turkey meat, and also much more flavorful: not so much a strong flavor but a substantial one. Once you've tasted a well-roasted goose, the contrast between its rich dark flavor and the bland flavor of turkey will surprise you.
In estimating serving size, you should allow 1 ½ to 2 pounds of goose (raw weight) per person. An 8-pound goose is the perfect size for about 5 people but can feed more if you have a lot of sides, which is common at holiday dinners. Reserve your pastured goose
When cooking your goose, don’t compare it to cooking chicken or turkey, think of it as beef with an overcoat of fat and crispy skin. Breasts should always be served pink (medium-rare) and legs and wings should be slowly cooked, like beef brisket. Roast the goose for a while, then slice off the whole breast and finish it in a pan, skin side down, once the legs are done. That way you still get a nice roasted flavor on the whole goose, and you get crispy skin and you get properly pink breast meat. Find a tutorial for roasting your goose on my recipe page.
The most traditional way to balance the richness is to invite mustard, horseradish, vinegar, or pickles to the party. You need something sharp for balance. Fruit adds another element to goose. A tart fruit such as a cherry or black currants, blueberries, or cranberries can almost single-handedly achieve that perfect balance of flavor: sweet, sour, savory, salty.
I highly recommend making a gorgeous goose the centerpiece of your table this holiday season!
Reserve a pastured goose for your Christmas dinner for pick-up in Pomfret, MD December 22 & 23 by appointment.