How to Roast a Goose

Preparation time: About 2 1/2 hours.

  • Prep time: 35 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes


  • 1 goose, approx. 8 lbs.
  • Juice of a lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups chicken stock (for gravy)
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Root vegetables to roast with the goose, such as carrots, parsnips, turnips, potatoes, and/or rutabagas, peeled and chopped into large chunks

In general, plan for:
8-10 lb goose for 5-6 people
11-12 lb goose for 6-8 people


To start, if the goose has been refrigerated, bring it to room temperature before cooking. Keep it in its plastic wrapping until you are ready to cook it. While in the refrigerator, and or while you are bringing it to room temp, have the bird resting in a pan, so that if the plastic covering leaks for any reason, you are confining the juices to the pan. If you get a frozen goose, which is most likely the case, you will need to defrost it in the refrigerator for two days first.

While I have never found any instances of food poisoning from raw duck or goose, it’s best to handle the goose with common sense. Use a separate cutting board and utensils to avoid contaminating other foods. Wash your hands with soap frequently – if for no other reason than because geese are fatty and you don’t want to be walking around with greasy hands. Use paper towels to clean up.


Remove the neck, giblets, wing tips

Remove the neck and giblets (heart, gizzard, liver). Use them for making the gravy. You want to remove the last two joints of the wings, too, and use them for the gravy as well.

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To do this, use a thin sharp knife – a boning knife is ideal, or you could use a paring knife or fillet knife – and cut across the side of the joint, severing the tendons. Bend the joint the opposite way it is supposed to go to break it. Cut the remaining skin and tendons. You should not need to cut bone at all.

Slice off the neck skin about a half inch in front of the body.

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Remove the excess fat

You also need to remove excess fat from the goose. You will want to save it – goose fat is among the most delicious of all cooking fats, and it is far healthier than butter or lard.

First grab the fat inside the body cavity and put it in a bowl.

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Now slice off the wide belly flaps covering the body cavity; if you plan on stuffing the goose you’d need these, but we’re not, so out they go. You also want to remove the Pope’s nose, which is the goose’s tail. All of this should go into a pot with a little water (about ½ cup) and put over low heat to render out.

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Prick the goose's skin all over with a needle

You still need to give all that fat underneath the goose’s skin somewhere to go—if you don’t, the skin will never fully crisp up. I’ve found the best way to do this is to prick it with a clean needle. The technique is to stick the skin from an angle so you are not piercing the meat of the goose, just the skin. Do this all over the goose.

Season the goose and place in the oven

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Rub the goose all over with the cut half of a lemon. Use both sides to get it good and coated. Put the halves inside the goose.

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Sprinkle salt liberally all over the goose. Use more salt than you think you need; it helps crisp the skin and adds a lot to the flavor.

Slice off the top of a head of garlic and place it inside the goose.

Place the goose breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan and into the oven.



Start the gravy

Meanwhile, start the gravy. Chop and brown all the giblets, wings and neck in some goose fat in a large pan. Sprinkle salt over them.

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Add the chopped onion and stir to combine. When the onion gets a little browned, sprinkle the flour in the pot and stir to combine. Cook this over medium heat, stirring often, until it smells nutty—about 5-10 minutes. Turn the heat up to high and add the Madeira.

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Let this boil furiously for a minute or two, then add the chicken stock and stir to combine. Add the dried thyme. Turn the gravy down to a bare simmer.


Add root vegetables to the roasting pan

After the goose has cooked for 20 minutes, add any chunks of root veggies you might feel like using. I like a mix of potatoes, turnips, carrots and parsnips. Here’s a tip: Toss them in some rendered goose fat and salt them before placing in the bottom of the roasting pan.

You can also use this time as an opportunity to spoon out some of the goose fat that may be collecting in the bottom of the roasting pan. Put it in the pot with the rendering goose fat.

When you’re done, put the goose back into the oven for another 20 minutes.


Carve out the breasts

When a total of 40 minutes of cooking time has elapsed, test the temperature of the breast. You should have something between 130 and 140 degrees. If you’re there, remove the goose but keep the oven on.

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Now you need to carve off the whole breasts. Using a thin knife—again, a boning knife is ideal—make a slice where the breast meets the leg and another slice where the breast meets the wing.

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Then slice along the keel bone, which separates the two halves of the breast. Go straight down and tap the point of the blade against the breastbone as you move the knife up toward the wishbone, then back toward the open body cavity.

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Know that a goose has a deep keel and that the breastbone comes out wide at almost a right angle from it, so work your knife in short, gentle strokes out to free the whole side of the breast. Once you get near the wishbone, find it with the tip of your knife and carefully slice around it. Repeat on the other side.

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Remove the breasts and tent with foil.


Finish cooking the rest of the goose

Put the goose (minus the breasts) back into the oven. Let this cook for another 30 to 40 minutes.

Watch the goose gravy. If it gets too thick, add a little water.

After 30 minutes, probe the thickest part of the goose’s thigh with a thermometer. Remove the goose when the temperature is between 165-170°F.  Check the root veggies, and if they are done, great. If not, keep them in the oven for the moment.

Remove the garlic from the goose. Tent the goose with foil and set aside.


Finish the gravy

Remove the garlic cloves from the husk and put the cloves into the simmering goose gravy. Let this cook for 5 minutes. Fish out the neck and wing pieces and pick off any bits and toss them into the gravy. Pour the gravy into a blender and purée it until completely smooth–work in batches to avoid the gravy spurting out of your blender. You want a thick gravy, so if it is too thick add water. If it’s too thin, don’t worry, you can cook it down.

Return the gravy to the pot and put on low heat. Simmer it more if it is too thin.


Sear the breasts

Now get a large sauté pan hot. Add some goose fat, and let that get hot over medium-high heat.

Take the goose breasts, which should be a lovely pink on the meat side, and pat them dry. Place them skin side down in the pan and sear the skin hard. You might need to press down on them a little to get good contact. Check after 3-4 minutes. You want a rich brown.

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When it is ready, remove the breasts – don’t cook them on the meat side! – and immediately salt the skin. Set aside, skin side up. Move the pan off the heat.


Carve off the legs and wings, and sear

Carve off the legs and wings of the goose.

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Get the pan hot again and sear the skin surfaces of the legs and wings. While this is searing, slice the breast (at an angle is nice) skin side up. Salt the legs and wings and serve with the root veggies.

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Now remember: You have worked hard to get a good sear on your goose skin, so put your lovely gravy underneath the meat, not on top of the skin.


Save bones for stock

When you are finished with your goose, save the bones from the carcass to make goose stock, which is just like chicken stock, only with goose bones.

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  • red black

    Great job it encourages me to do it. I am starting rearing geese. I am 79.

  • Kevin

    Man what a well written recipe. It’s as if you touch upon all the things that people think while cooking but no one writes about. Well done Hank, I’m now a subscriber.

  • William

    Thank you. I was going to roast it on a rack until the leg joint breaks, but your way is better.


  • Mark

    I made this for Christmas dinner and it worked out well. I wouldn’t do it again unless I found a much less expensive goose (ordered it through a local organic store and it cost about $100) but this recipe is the way to go — cutting out the breast halfway through is the main insight. The gravy worked out too, though I didn’t have Madeira so I substituted some cherry wine (that we got in the Dominican Republic). The only issue with the gravy was that I had to keep adding more stock and wine, more than I expected, and didn’t end up with so much that I had to do it in batches in the blender; there was enough for our crowd of 8 people, but no more. Next time I’d double the mount of stock to begin with. Other than that it was great, and I have a whole mug full of goose fat (from rendering and from the roasting pan) that I strained through cheesecloth. A+


  • KenW

    My local grocery store just ran out of goose!!!Can I use this recipe on duck instead?!?!?!

  • Christine

    If I had not read this I would never have known what to do I would have cooked it whole it looks delicious I am going to give it a try for this Christmas Thankyou

  • Katie

    Hi, just wondering how quickly you need to serve it to avoid the meat getting dry once it is done? Trying to figure out how to time everything else being hot at the same time.

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Katie, good question! For this recipe, I think you could save the searing and carving until right before you want to serve it. Otherwise, you can tent the bird carcass and breasts with foil and just let rest for an hour.

  • Susan

    Outstanding!!! This was the first time that I had ever roasted a goose. I added rosemary and sage in the cavity. The recipe was easy to follow and amazing! My guests and I liked it so well, that we devoured it and hardly left any leftovers :( Next I will take the bones and slow cook them for two days for the broth.


  • Cody

    I love this recipe, it has been a Christmas Eve staple now for years. I am curious if you have any tips/methods/comments on plucking a wild bird. I plucked an 8lb Canada Goose dry and by hand, took about an hour. It wasn’t as bad as people have made it sound, but would like any additional pointers you might have


  • Jack

    This recipe is amazing! The gravy was the absolute best part and SO easy! The method of cooing the bird JUST enough and then searing when it’s close to dinner time is absolutely perfect! I followed this closely and everything turned out amazing. The breast has the nice crispy flavorful skin and then the meat was like melt-in-your-mouth tender. The one mistake I made was letting the legs and wings cook too long (I admit I got into ‘turkey roasting mode’ and let them go for longer than i should…first rule of cooking goose = it’s NOT a TURKEY! Lol). The legs and wing meat were a little chewier than I would have liked, but the flavor! OMG. Just perfect. And, such a low maintenance process…no spices, basting or any of that nonsense. So simple and SO good. Just be sure to follow everything he says…trimming the belly and other fat pieces and pricking the skin are essential. This will be my GO-TO goos recipe from now on.

  • Erica

    Our goose is 6.72lbs. Any suggestions on hour to adjust cooking time and temperatures?

  • Matt

    I roasted a goose last year following the instructions as much as I could. The breast was unbelievably good. The rest of the bird was also fine, but the breasts were so good, I would exchange a file mignon for them any day. This year I wasn’t going to trouble myself roasting a bird again but my sister in law just surprised me with a fresh goose today, so I will make my second attempt following this recipe. Wish me good luck.

  • Kim m

    Very tough. Couldn’t get the meat off the legs it was so tough. Followed recipe exactly. Watched the temps too. What did I do wrong?

  • Melissa

    Wonderful, our goose turned out perfectly! Thank you so much!
    Northern CANADA

  • Mark

    A local supermarket put their frozen geese on sale at a dollar per pound after the holidays, so I snatched one up for $10. Now I wish I had bought more! I followed the recipe to a T, with the exceptions of using Amontillado instead of Madeira and herbes de Provence instead of of thyme in the gravy, which turned out delicious anyway. (Note to self: Buy more Thyme.)

    Dismembering the bird during the cooking process wasn’t a stretch for me, since my preferred method of roasting a turkey involves cutting it into pieces beforehand ( I was vigilant with the meat thermometer, and the cooking times were spot on for a 10 lb. bird in an oven set on convection roast. This is a very well-written recipe, and the only addition I would make is that it would be a good idea to chop the vegetables before putting the goose in the oven, since making the gravy keeps the cook pretty busy for the first 20 minutes. (I used onions, shallots, parsnips, carrots, turnips and celeriac. My roast rack has handles, so I just set the goose aside while I finished chopping and arranging the vegetables in the pan. Taking the goose out of the pan also allowed me to pour most of the fat out before resuming cooking.) Knowing that gizzards are typically tough, I cut this one into very thin slices before chopping it and avoided the problem mentioned by a previous commenter.

    This made for a fun evening in the kitchen and a way-above-average Sunday dinner. In a few minutes I’ll fry my breakfast eggs in goose fat, so my Monday will get off to a good start too! My thanks to Hank for sharing his expertise.

  • Dave Sacerdote

    I spent a lot of time looking online for a roast goose recipe that would give me the results I wanted – perfectly done meat from the breast as well as the legs and thighs – and this one was the only one that made any logical sense; most others would have resulted in a dry, inedible bird had I followed them as written. THANK YOU for this recipe. It resulted in a perfect New Year’s Eve dinner.

  • Katie in Missouri

    We were out buying chicken feed when a hunter offered us one of the three geese he’d gotten that morning. Having never eaten goose, much less cooked one, we were leery. We’re accustomed to dressing out chicken, so that wasn’t a stretch, but I poured over the internet to find the “right” recipe, and THANK YOU!! I should have attended my gravy a bit more carefully, it didn’t turn out, but the goose…. oh. my. gosh. I, my husband, and three kids, 13, 10 and 7, devoured it, raving the entire time. My only regret is not making more potatoes and carrots. My husband is going to take up hunting geese now, or perhaps we’ll raise them, I don’t know,. What I do know is that many goose meals are in our future. Thank you for the great techniques, and solid explanations. This recipe will be part of my permanent cookbook, and I will enjoy sharing this meal with extended family and friends. Just amazing! Thanks again!

  • Judith Clark

    How does stuffing turn out with the shorter cooking time? One of the things I love about the longer roasting time is a prune, apple and chestnut stuffing, which needs time to mellow and become one.

  • Tim

    Tried this tonight on a Canada Goose that I shot in Nov (in Ontario). It didn’t work. Here’s why.
    1. Temp Thermometer was faulty! I should have known when the breast was still under 110*F after 1hr 15min. Totally overcooked livery horrid tastes.
    2. Didn’t poke the skin, though not sure the fat would have rendered out of the breast meat in 40-45min. Have to try again.
    3. Didn’t Read the comments on cooking a “medium fat Canada Goose” even shorter time than your domestic bird.

    So all my fault.

    What did work was the flavour of the skin and the sizzle of the fat. Wow, the smell and the tastes were awesome. We will be getting a new temp probe, and also using better common-sense when it comes to cooking times.

    Sharing so no one else makes my horrid mistakes.

    • Elise Bauer

      Oh, that’s so frustrating Tim! If it’s any consolation I have an entire graveyard drawer of cooking thermometers that I don’t use because they aren’t accurate enough. These days I use either a Thermapen instant thermometer, or a Thermowerks instant thermometer, both from the same company. Very high quality.

  • Nan Amanda Grimmer

    This year I cooked my first goose, using your recipe. I did exactly what you said and my goose was FABULOUS!! I was really scared when it came to cutting off the breast of this really expensive bird, but “in for a penny, in for a pound” so I gulped and did it. Boy were you right! Thank you. When I got done cutting it up, my serving platter looked just like yours in the opening photo. We ate the breast for Christmas dinner — and ate the legs late Christmas night. Thank you so much.

  • Ann T

    The reason nobody is poisoned by goose is they do not contain salmonella as part of their gut bacteria. Chickens do not naturally contain it either. See the book ‘Gut’ by Giulia Enders, the salmonella comes from cheap chicken feed grown in Africa where lizards & tortoises roam – if they do their business on grain crops meant for cheaply fed chickens in uk they cause the salmonella to enter the food chain, as reptiles contain salmonella as part of their normal gut bacteria. Buy good quality chicken pref organic and there should not be any salmonella in the chicken or on the egg shells

  • Red Clevenger

    Thank you. Used this method. The wife complained about all the things she claimed I did wrong, but me and the three kids ate all the carveable meat from a 10lb bird. My 17 yo old boy was eating her untouched goose right off her plate. Victory is mine!!!!

  • Jack

    This is probably too late to ask. I have tried cooking this recipe for the last two Christmases, and on my third try this year. So far it has always been too tough, although I follow the recipe exactly as written (cook times are usually longer in order to get to the low-side of required temperatures). Do you have any suggestions for making this goose more tender? Would that require lower temps and longer cooking time?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Jack, I consulted with Hank and he suggests slicing the breast more thinly and cooking the legs longer.

      • Jack

        Thanks for the quick reply, got it in time! I found it to be a little bit better, but still pretty tough. Perhaps my expectations of fall-off-the-bone tender aren’t correct with goose? Flavor is still great at least.

        I think next time I am going to try the Le Creuset recipe. Looks physically impossible to become tough after braising it.

  • Jay

    Thanks for a great tutorial! I have a goose that is about 11 2/3 pounds. Can you give me a ballpark on cooking times?

  • Samantha

    Love this recipe. Going to try it before Christmas to make sure I have timing right. One question… I have to take this two hours away for Christmas dinner. I was thinking about cooking it the night before all except the searing of the skin. Could I take it unseared then sear it at my inlaws?

  • Heathar Shepard

    This is an awesome recipe and I love all the additional goose fat for future sautéing and cooking! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Katherine Charles

    This was a really helpful recipe and the times were bang on for our goose. It was my first try at cooking a goose and to say I was daunted was a bit of an understatement. The gravy was great (but I used a dash of balsamic vinegar instead of the wine) and although we were a little unsure of the very rare breast meat, once we tried it, we all tucked in and ate our fill. Thank you so much for posting this.

  • Devin Thor

    Simply the best start to finish recipe for goose I could imagine. This was my first try at goose and I will do it again, because it turned out sooooo delicious. Every detail was included, like proper meat temperatures, how to make a gravy, and the uses for the goose fat. WOW! Thank you Hank!

  • Lynn Dostal

    Looked and sounded like a great recipe. However, times were way off. I put veggies in the 10# bird and in a stainless container with rendered fat; started at 325 for 2 hours and raised to 450 F for another hour to reach 135 F internal breast temp. Removed breast and cooked legs and backs for another hours Veggies on 700+ stove top for another hour to soften. However, the results were excellent. Grilled the meat to get crusty skin on a 700+ infrared grill top. Had eleven guests and dueling geese. My medium rare breast beat my wife’s orange goose by a “bill (nose, get it?).” Made scratch broth from veggie skins and used that to cook my old Bohemian liver dumplings. We had a typical central European meal, along with pork & kraut.

  • Richard norris

    Hi there,after reading all the comms,I’m very nervous about this recipie after spending £70 on a fresh free range goose as a treat for my wife and kids,I really do not want to ruin the meat!
    To relieve some of the stress from the big day,I’m tempted to do the gravy today,will it still be as tasty as if it was eaten freshly cooked?

    Please advise,

    Many thanks

  • Andrea

    Is searing the skin necessary, or just recommended? If I need to forgo the searing, how do I compensate for it? How much longer in the oven, what temp should all the parts come to in the oven, etc.

  • Patrick

    I used this method last Xmas and saved the web site in my favs, doing it again this Christmas I think the information is excellent and the results (if followed correctly) speak for themselves…fantastic post, thanks so much for making goose aggro free for me….Patrick in Portsmouth UK

  • Marie

    Followed directions, temps and times, and it came out very tough, so disappointed! The goose was very expensive, can’t afford to make this mistake again. The garlic wasn’t cooked in the bird, and was still firm when it went in the gravy. Couldn’t add any meat from the wings and neck to the gravy because it was still very tough and firmly attached to the bones when instructed to. The gizzards were also still tough, so despite blending it, it still had lumps of hard garlic and gizzards. The gravy needed a lot more time to simmer, but the bird was already cooked and cooling at that point. I don’t know if we happened to get a very tough bird or these directions are off, but be cautious trying this recipe if you are risking ruining an expensive meal!

    • Timo

      I had the same experience. We cooked a small 1.7kg bird from our farm. It was hung for nearly a week beforehand. Followed the recipe to the dot, but still, the bird turned out tough as old boots. So disappointing after that kitchen extravaganza. Either our bird was just too old, or there is something not quite right with the recipe.

  • Amanda

    This looks excellent and soo helpful! I am responsible for Christmas for the first time this year, and I was wanting to do something traditional (I live in Germany, and my husband is German) and had thought about goose, but was really intimated – now I’m excited :) One question, would broiling the breast, legs and wings shortly work to get the skin crispy instead of searing? Thanks!

    • Hank Shaw

      Amanda: Yes, you can broil it to crisp the skin, but keep a close eye on it – the skin can burn easily. Also, the pan-sear method works better because you get better contact with the heat. I’ve found that broiling can cause some places to char while others are not yet crispy. ~Hank

  • Elisabeth Potvin

    Great recipe and instructions. But my goose cooked way too fast . A goose from Quebec, it didn’t say what kind. It was just over 8lbs, at the right temp and it was thoroughly cooked after just the first 45mn. I carved the breast, and ended up carving the whole thing because it was way done. I let it sit under foil while the rest of the meal was getting ready and just put it in a hot frying pan for a couple of minutes so it would be hot to serve. It was overdone and tough. Skin was gorgeous and crispy though. My oven usually undercooks, so I’m not sure what happened. The gravy tasted good, but I would take out the giblets before blending it next time. It just doesn’t look right in terms of colour and texture for gravy.

  • Tyler

    One of the best guides to cooking and carving a goose I’ve come across. I cook goose 2-3 times a year, and this method produced the best results no doubt about it. Plus the pictures and carving information were *super* helpful!

  • Mark

    Hank, your directions indicate this recipe is best for a domestic goose. Would you change anything for a wild one?

    If it is a fat wild goose, no. But I would not cook a snow goose this way at all. A skinny specklebelly or Canada goose will need less time than a domestic for the breast meat, and more time for the legs and wings. Wild bird legs in general are tougher, so you will need a bit more time in the oven to make them tender. ~Hank

  • Dave

    Would you recommend brining the goose beforehand?

    I don’t like brining watefowl, but some people do. I think it dilutes flavor, and since geese have such a nice layer of fat, they stay moist through long cooking. ~Hank

  • Marc

    While this looks great and I am going to use the recipe. The Goose it looks like your using is farm raised? I shot a Canada goose two days ago and hope it shall turn out as good. They are very lean and not much in the way of fat, so hopefully that doesn’t pose a problem. Maybe less cook time? How about apple, orange or both in the cavity with the garlic?
    I guess I’ll just watch the temps.Last thing I want to do is make a piece of leather. Thanks for the best guide line I’ve come across!

    My advice is to break the Canada goose into breasts, and then legs/thighs/wings. Braise the legs and wings slowly, until the meat wants to fall off the bone, and oven-roast the breasts. Make sure the breasts are cooked medium-rare to medium, and be sure to slice them thin — Canada geese can be old, and tough. ~Hank

  • Kate Connor

    I made goose based on this approach for Christmas. It was fabulous! I think removing the breasts and searing the skin HARD before serving was the key. It was great! I made the gravy as well, with addition of the juice of a couple oranges. It was so good I could drink it straight. This will become my regular approach for the Christmas goose. Thanks very much for a great method!

  • super_luminal

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I followed it exactly and look how beautifully it came out:[email protected]/6583052411/in/set-72157628593338717/
    It was the first time I or any of my guests for Christmas dinner had goose and we are probably spoiled now. :) The gravy was delicious too.

    Wow, what a beautiful photo! ~Elise

  • Gary

    Worst goose I ever cooked. All temps and times as published. Came out very rare and tough. I will go back to Julia Child’s steamed rosted goose recipe.

  • Klaus Grunrr

    My mother mixed the goose fat with lard. This was the best spread on heavy German bread, especially with a cheese I cannot remember the name. We called it “Leichenfinger” but this is not the real name. My mother made a soup from the heart, and all intestine plus the head with rice. It was called Gänseklein and was always served on Christmas Eve while the goose was for Christmas day.

  • Rebecca

    We have a Cabernet wine. Would that work or do I need to head out for the wine shop?

    Cabernet is a little strong for goose, but it will do if the wine shop is far away. If you can, though, I’d buy a good Chianti, a Grenache, a Gamay, Beaujolais, Sangiovese or a California Pinot Noir. ~Hank

  • Harvest

    I can’t find Madeira Wine. What else will be a great substitution?

    Marsala wine would be the best substitution, followed by white Port or a sweet sherry. ~Hank

  • erica brusselars

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made it in the spirit of a Christmas dinner the weekend before Christmas (and served fig pudding for dessert). I cooked an 11.5 pound goose and served six. This recipe covered everything and the pictures were great. The only issue I had is that the root vegetables took a long time. I probably would start them ahead of the goose if I were to do this again (then no chance that they run long and steal the oven from the dinner rolls).

    The next week a friend’s friend was going to cook goose and I told her that I used a recipe that split the breast off mid-cooking. This friend brushed me off that that would be too much work, she was going to stuff the goose. Her post-Christmas report was that it was too dry. While this recipe might seem like work, at least you know it will be delicious. Worse to do half the work and get a mediocre outcome.

    Thank you again!

  • Vlad G

    Did this the over day. Worked really well, though next time I do it it’ll come out better–learning from my mistakes and all.

    By the way, I’m unclear how the person a couple up from me didn’t have to blend the gravy–there were most definitely chunks of gizzards and the meat stripped from wings and neck. Blending really gives it a texture too.

    Also, as to the fat. I had a slightly different process which I think had its advantages. The fat that I removed from the bird during the cleaning I rendered separately from the drippings in the oven. The fat in the roasting pan ends up being much dirtier because of the root vegetables, etc. I reserved the roasting pan fat and then triple filtered using paper towels and coffee filters to get a nice clean, golden jar of goose grease.

  • Valerie

    We roasted a goose for Christmas dinner, and it was fantastic! It was a Pilgrim goose that we raised over the summer. We followed the instructions nervously, because we don’t even roast chickens that often. But everyone at the dinner table was pleasantly surprised by how good it was! Not dry at all and very tasty, somewhere between duck and beef. Much better than the Muscovy duck we had roasted the normal way a few months ago, which came out very dry.

    We were uncomfortable with serving it medium-rare, so when we seared the breasts, we seared them on the skin side as directed, and then a bit on the meat side as well. Also, it was re-heated in the oven right before dinner.

    We made the gravy using marsala wine instead of madiera. We didn’t blend it, because the only lumps were onions and roasted garlic. (Yum.)

    The only downside was that the pan was an inch shorter than the bird so some fat did drip into the bottom of the oven and create some smoke. So make sure you have a large and deep enough pan to catch all the fat. We didn’t roast vegetables with the goose, so we just drained off the fat at the end, and it’s in the fridge waiting to be rendered.

    Next up: make goose stock, then… goose noodle soup?

  • Alisa

    So I gave this recipe a try today and I really don’t think it could have been spelled out more clearly on the internet (and I searched for a while). While we got an A+ for motivation to try something new and exciting for dinner, we received a F for execution. Not the recipes fault at all but man, goose is INVOLVED. The meat was a stranger than we’re used to texture and I don’t believe we cooked it enough. The gravy was the one thing we got right and it was really tasty. It was worth a shot and would hate to see what we would have turned out without this step-by-step guide.

  • kristin

    Can this be done a day in advance, then all bird parts warmed in a pan before serving?

    Only if you can re-crisp the skin under a broiler or salamander. While the meat will be fine done ahead, storing it will destroy the crispiness of the skin. ~Hank

  • JOANNA SZANDROCHA Marble Arch, London W1C 1BY

    Thank you so much for this detailed tutorial, and demystifying goose. I’ve roasted duck, but not goose. I’m looking forward to trying my hand at this ‘exotic’ bird.

    What a wonderful step-by-step approach to cooking goose! I will remember this with hopes that we get a goose next year. When I was in high school I shot a goose and prepared it for Christmas dinner using an orange glaze.

    About eliminating the wine or substituting — if it’s really the alcohol you are concerned about, how about gently simmering it off? I would say if you started with a bit over a cup and gently cooked off the wine, then added back most of the water to correct for concentration, you might keep the flavor but not the alcohol.

  • dux-r-us

    Nothing compares to a wild Canada goose. Unlike domiestic cousins, the Canada has little fat, and the most delicious flavour. I have cooked hundreds of waterfowl over the years. The key is, as described in the blog, is not to overcook. I blieve overcooking is the reason so many people I know who proclaim that waterfowl are “foul” and taste like liver.

    If you clean your own birds carefully, the risk from salmonella is practically zero. Salmonella poisoning is a result of the processing plants. The plants cannot be as sanitary as the single person working with one or a few birds.

    If you don’t hunt your own Canada geese, chances are you know someone who does or will.

    I like to hang my ducks and geese for 2-3 days to age them before cooking (yes you take out the organs first). Don’t hange your birds if the temp will be above 50F.

    Note that not all ducks and geese will taste alike due to differences in diet. I have never found a snow goose worth eating. Avoid diving duck species such as ring neck and mergansers. PUddle ducks (mallard, widgeon, gadwall) are better.

    Tally ho!


  • frances

    It’s very rare to find a recipe for goose. Being in Europe it is easier to find. I have up to now cooked about 30 geese, a goose for every christmas. Every one of them had a different texture and taste. Cooking the last couple of geese I used a different method. Before seasoning I put the bird in the sink and pour lots of hot boiling water over it, which makes the skin go tight and easier to handle plus It cleans the bird at the same time.

  • Zhenya

    I want to try this recipe, but I need to cook 2 geese at the same time, since I have so many people coming over. What adjustments to I need to make to this recipe?

    Thank you!

    Should be fine as is, but you’ll need to double the gravy recipe. On the goose, just watch your temperatures closer, checking earlier. ~Hank

  • Joanna Szandrocha, Marble Arch, London

    Sounds delicious. Will try to make it. Any ideas about stuffing or vegetables that could be served zith it?

    Lots of ideas. I mention the veggies in the post, and Elise has a great stuffing recipe here on this site. ~Hank

  • mantha

    About eliminating the wine or substituting — if it’s really the alcohol you are concerned about, how about gently simmering it off? I would say if you started with a bit over a cup and gently cooked off the wine, then added back most of the water to correct for concentration, you might keep the flavor but not the alcohol. Madeira has a lovely taste that lemon, while also good, wouldn’t really stand in for.

    Alcohol never fully burns off in a dish, so that’s out, and some people avoid it for religious reasons. I am with you, though, that lemon would change things dramatically — but it’d still make a good gravy. ~Hank

  • Talal

    What would you use to substitute the wine with in a non-alcoholic version of this dish (and other dishes)?

    Hard to say. The Madeira is a main flavor component in the gravy. But it would still be gravy if you left it out. Maybe sub in a little vinegar or lemon juice? ~ Hank

  • jrhather

    I’ve got a nice frozen duck in the freezer and I’m wondering if I’d cook it to the same standard?

    Sorta. Times will be shorter, as the duck is smaller. But you can use the same technique. Just keep an eye on things with your meat thermometer until you get the timing down. ~Hank

  • Giovani

    This recipe couldn’t be more spot on, I followed it exactly as it’s written and my bird was flavorful, juicy and perfectly crisped. The gravy was excellent as well. I’ve got a good pound and a half of fat left over to cook with and plenty of bones to make stock. If you’ve never had roast goose I highly recommend it.

  • mantha

    This was a spectacular piece of instruction for detail — right down to the finish. (Of course you don’t want to put the gravy on top, but rather underneath — but who ever thinks of that?)

    A real keeper — many thanks for this meticulous and easy-to-read tutorial. Too late for Christmas this year, but there’s going to be plenty of other cold, dark winter nights for a get-together with a substantial meal. We will enjoy it and raise a glass to you!