One question has been discussed among gourmets for years: What does goose taste like? Some say goose is so gamey to the point of inedible, while others claim it’s one of the best meats in the world. So, which side is right? You’ll know the answer right in this article!
And not only the goose’s taste, but I also provide you with various tricks to cook a perfect goose dish, no matter what cooking methods you choose. You even acquire several secrets to buy the best goose that only a few chefs know.
But before going in that direction, let me answer for you the most vital question:
How Does Goose Taste? Is It Delicious?
In general, goose tastes quite different from chicken, turkey, and other poultry meats. Due to its high-fat content, the goose has a rich and robust flavor. Its meat also looks like beef or rabbit with a beautiful red color.
Goose’s flavor may differ based on its raising condition:
- Domestic goose’s meat is smoother with more fat.
- The wild goose is leaner and needs to cook fast at high heat.
Don’t be satisfied with this brief answer yet! There is more exciting knowledge waiting for you!
First Off, Do You Know What Goose Is?
Nowadays, if you are a gourmet, you can’t be ignorant to the goose. This poultry meat has quietly stepped up its game and started replacing chicken and turkey in various restaurants’ menus. However, eating a goose doesn’t mean you’ve understood this bird.
First, while goose refers to a bird belonging to the Anatidae family, it’s actually the term for the female bird. The male bird’s name is “gander,” by the way.
Before, goose used to be wild meat, but many goose farms have appeared and produced domesticated types. (1)
Though it sounds pretty strange, the goose also has its season, starting from the end of September to January. But, if you want to eat goose out of this period, frozen meat is always available in the supermarkets.
Find Out The Esquitive Flavor Of Goose
After learning some interesting facts about goose, it’s time for you to taste the main dish: What is the real flavor of a goose? This part will give you the most precise answer, so stay tuned!
Though goose is poultry, its meat is actually more on the dark-colored side. Many chefs even compare goose to a rabbit or even beef because of its richness. That robust flavor comes from its high-fat content, which can be two times more than regular chicken.
This fat will melt when cooking, keeping the meat juice. However, for those who aren’t familiar with cooking goose, you may get surprised at how much fat comes out. Some people even call the goose “the flying pigs” because of its fat content.
While a goose can’t feed as many people as a turkey, a normal-sized goose is still suitable for six-people meals. So, you can use it to replace turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner.
However, here are just some common characteristics of geese. Domestic geese and wild ones have some differences that can affect your cooking.
As you’ve already known, domestic geese are farm-raised ones. Because of that, several features of wild geese have disappeared, such as the dark brown feathers have turned to white ones.
Their structure has changed as well. Domestic geese have a more upright pose as their fat mainly focuses on their tails. (2)
As for the taste, the farm-raised goose is much smoother than the wild ones while it still retains the natural juiciness.
Apart from the meat, people also keep geese for their eggs. They taste somewhat similar to chicken’s eggs, but these goose’s eggs have more yolk and are denser in texture.
Domestic goose can be an easy choice for almost all cooks, but that doesn’t apply to the wild goose. Some professional chefs even deem it an unclean bird since it has lots of gems and a gamey flavor that takes hours of preparation.
However, if you cook it properly, you’ll get a full taste of the rich, robust goose meat. While some internet instructions may tell you to cook this wild bird for a long time, the truth is you have to cook it fast at high heat.
The longer you cook a wild goose, the more moisture you lose. And all that’s left is tough and flavorless meat.
After this instruction, you’ll master wild goose even with your eyes closed!
Bonus Information: Canada Goose – One Of The Toughest Meat You Can Eat
Even a master chef feels scared in front of a Canada goose. Why is that? Let’s talk about its taste for a little bit. Canada goose meat is really mean, maybe the leanest among other types of meat. So, it’s really easy to cook it dry.
Also, it’s quite gamey and tough as well. If you try to cook goose for the first time, stay away from Canada goose as far as you can.
Secret Tips To Choose The Best Goose
Do you know that to have the best-tasting goose dish, you should buy the highest-quality goose. Professionals always have some tricks up their sleeves for this matter. And in this part, I’ll reveal these tricks for you and you only. So, check them now!
An ideal goose should have these appearance traits:
- Color: Pale, even-colored skin with no bruising
- Bill: Flexible bill
- Size: Remember that goose has a high-fat content, so its meat can be less than it looks. However, don’t just choose giant geese as they may turn out to be old and tough. A goose with an average of 8-12 lbs is enough.
Yes, time plays a vital role when you buy a goose, whether it’s fresh or frozen in the markets. As I’ve said above, goose season comes in between September and January. So, any goose appearing outside this time may not be fresh, especially in February and March.
Simple Ways To Cook A Perfect Goose Dish
Now, you’ve known all about how goose tastes and how difficult it is to prepare a goose. But don’t be afraid! I’m here to clear all your troubles about geese, including cooking them. So, here are some cooking methods for a mouthwatering goose dish.
There is no such thing as “preparing too much” when it comes to cooking, primarily when you handle a goose. So, here are some necessary preparations before you get to the real deal:
- Cut off the excess fat at the opening of the cavities and the neck. You can keep it for future uses, such as cooking potatoes or omelets.
- Take out the plastic bag of giblets inside the goose.
- As the goose legs require more cooking time than the breast, it’s better for you to remove the legs and cook them separately.
- Goose has tons of fat under its skin, so you should prick or slice the skin at its back, breast, and legs. That way, the fat will ooze out when cooking.
- Place the goose on a wire rack with a tray below to retain the fat dripping out.
With all these preparations done, it’s time to start cooking your goose!
Don’t know how to butcher a goose? Let this chef help you!
Roasting is the most common way when it comes to poultry meat in general. While you are already familiar with roasting a chicken, roasting goose may be a bit more complicated with some notices:
- Keep your temperature low: You don’t need to roast goose until the meat turns white like chicken. Goose tastes best when it’s medium rare with a rosy color. Also, low heat will make the fat drip more easily.
- Pat the skin dry: If you love crispy skin, you mustn’t skip this step. You can even use your hairdryer to dry it.
- Stuff your goose with vegetables/fruits (optional): Stuffing some vegetables/fruits like carrots, onions, or oranges into your goose will make it taste more delicate.
- Let your goose rest: Some dishes need to be served right out of the oven, but this roasted goose is definitely not one of them. Give it 20-minute resting at room temperature before carving.
When the weather turns cold, a braised goose is the first thing that pops up in my mind. Nothing beats the flavorful sauce and tender goose meat. For a perfect braised dish, you should write down these things below:
- Cut your goose into pieces: As the goose contains lots of fat, your sauce will be greasy with fat if you cook it whole. The better choice is separating it into parts and drying them.
- As for the sauce: The chicken stock is the best option to go with goose. Wine, vinegar, or fruit juices are good choices to enhance its flavor.
- Skim excess fat before serving: Even if you have extracted all the goose fat before cooking, some of it can remain and drip into the sauce. So, you should skim it out after cooking.
Boiling And Baking
Some may feel strange when seeing these two methods going together. But for the goose, it’s the best way to keep your goose crispy and juicy at the same time.
- Don’t keep the heat on when boiling goose: That’s right! Right after you put your goose into the pot with boiling water, turn off the heat. This method will simmer your goose without drying its meat. Remember to keep the lid on the whole time.
- Season the goose when boiling: Sprinkling salt and pepper on it when cooking will make the seasonings soak in.
No One Can Refuse These Tasty Goose Dishes
Now you know how to cook goose perfectly, let’s get to the next stage. With these toothsome recipes below, your family will wish you to make goose 7 days a week.
Orange has always been an ideal accompaniment for poultry meat like goose. So why don’t you glaze your roasted goose with orange juice? If you want a more complex flavor, you can choose between honey and five-spice powder.
This recipe is a must-try on any chilling day. You can braise the whole goose for your big family or just two legs if you only serve yourself. The secret for a mouthwatering sauce is adding some citrus flavor, such as orange zest or mandarins.
If roasted goose alone can’t satisfy you, how about stuffing it with various ingredients? In this recipe, I choose apples with potatoes for the filling, so my goose will turn a bit sweeter without getting too rich.
No roasted goose is better than this apple-stuffed goose!
Goose Vs. Duck: What Are The Differences?
I’ve compared goose with chicken and turkey a lot, but how about duck? Are they different from each other? Or are they so alike that they can replace each other? Let’s find out the answer right below!
|Meat||Both are darker than chicken and turkey.|
|Nutrients||Both have vitamin B, zinc, iron, copper, glycine, etc.|
|Availability||Easy to find|
|Flavor||Stronger with more fat||Leaner meat|
|Cooking||Requiring some advanced skills||Beginner-friendly|
Let’s Talk About Some Similarities Between Goose And Duck First
Though there are not many, these two birds do share some resemblances. Take a look at them and decide whether they are enough for you to replace the goose with duck and vice versa.
- Their breast meat is darker than chicken or turkey since goose and duck are both flying birds, which means they need more oxygen.
- They also share various nutrients, such as vitamin B, zinc, iron, copper, and other minerals. And those include glycine, a particular chemical to enhance skin and heal chronic breakdown in joints.
- Both of these birds are also available in supermarkets, making it easier for you to choose between them.
Then, How About Their Differences?
As for the differences between goose and duck, you should look at their diet first. Geese are herbivores, whereas ducks mainly eat insects, worms, or water snails.
That leads to the fat content in geese being much higher than in ducks. So, if you want lean meat or are afraid of fat, you can pick ducks over geese. But those who want a rich, robust flavor right at the first bite should opt for geese instead.
Also, in terms of preparation, duck is more forgiving than goose. Thus, beginners in cooking should go with duck. Then, when you have more advanced skills, you can try making a goose dish.
Nothing beats having a farmer explain for you the differences between goose and duck.
Does Eating Goose Benefit My Health?
Some may feel uncertain about eating goose as they are afraid of its fat content. However, goose meat can actually provide with numerous health benefits, such as below:
- Power up your muscle, skin, and blood
- Encourage your growth with its vitamin B
- Purify your blood, thus enhancing your strength
- Contain various nutrients: protein, omega-3 fat, omega-6 fat, vitamin A, D,… (3)
You still have some questions about goose and its flavor? Well, that happens all the time. That’s why I’ve included all the most common questions about this matter and answered them in this part. Pay close attention to them, your problems may be down there too.
One Small Word Of Advice
Goose is pricey, but that doesn’t mean you have to use it even when it goes spoiled. Always look at the meat color before cooking. If it has turned yellowish-green or gray, it’s time to throw that goose away.
Now, as you know clearly about a goose and its taste, you can confidently buy one and prepare it yourself. Don’t get scared! Follow my words, and everything will turn out alright.
If you have any other questions or ideas, feel free to comment them right in this post. And don’t forget to share this post with your family and friends!
- Anon, 2021. Goose. Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goose
- Anon, 2021. Domestic goose. Wikipedia. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Domestic_goose
- Services, H.and S., Goose. Available at: https://www.hss.gov.nt.ca/en/services/nutritional-food-fact-sheet-series/goose