Published November 1, 1994.
For a rich, flavorful roast goose with crispy browned skin, first dunk the bird in boiling water, then refrigerate for at least 24 hours before roasting.
Although the meat of a goose is not fatty, a thick layer of fat lies just below the skin. As a consequence, the skin, which looks so tempting, often turns out to be too soft and greasy to eat.
Those who have never cooked a goose are in for a treat. The meat is surprisingly firm, almost chewy to the bite, yet it is also moist and not at all tough or stringy. Both the breast and legs are dark, in the manner of duck, but unlike duck, goose has no gamy or tallowy undertones. Actually, on taking their first bite of goose, many people find that it tastes a lot like roast beef. Perhaps it is this rich, beefy quality that makes the bird so satisfying and festive. This is the sort of meat we wanted, but first we had to get rid of all that fat.
We adapted a method from the classic Peking duck, which calls for immersing the duck in boiling water and then air-drying it in the refrigerator for 24 hours; this method tightens the skin so that during roasting the fat will be squeezed out. This method worked well with goose (though we found that goose dried for 48 hours was even better). As far as cooking the goose, we found it best to flip the bird over halfway through to insure even cooking. A goose generally reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees in the thigh cavity after less than two hours of roasting. Yet the meat is still tough, especially around the thighs. At least 45 minutes of additional roasting is required. The most reliable indicator of doneness is the feel of the drumsticks. When the skin has puffed and the meat inside feels soft and almost shredded when pressed--like well-done stew meat--the rest of the bird should be just right.list of recipes