Taking on that Thanksgiving Goose


Roasted swan and dressing on a Christmas platter. A goose is cooked exactly the same way.

   Hubby got a goose did he? Now you are thinking about how you are going to cook it for Thanksgiving. I describe how to cook wild turkeys, geese and swan in my books, Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound and also in Crossbow Hunting.   I can’t go into as much detail as I did in my books, but here are the basics. 

    First, pluck and singe the goose with a fold of burning newspaper to take off the pin feathers. Then remove the insides, reserving the heart, liver and gizzard for giblet gravy. Split the gizzard remove the grit and lining and boil the giblets in a small pot until they are done. Set aside giblets to cool and boil one egg.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

  Put the washed, clean goose  in a large pan lined with aluminum foil. Make the foil large enough to stick out over the sides of the pan, even if you have to crimp-fold two pieces. Rub salt into goose breast and legs and do the same with slightly softened butter. Put two sticks of celery inside the chest cavity along with a coarsely chopped Spanish onion. Add 2- cups of water to cover the bottom of the pan. Take another piece of foil and seal the top of the roasting pan with it.

 Place in oven and roast for one hour. The goose should start to emit good smells at this point. Taking care not to scald yourself with the steam take out of oven and remove a rear corner of the foil. Attempt to wiggle a leg. If the leg does not move, add additional water if necessary and cook for another half hour. Test again. At this stage the leg should move, but not feel like you could pull it from the carcass.  The desired cooking stage is when you can pull the leg away from the remainder of the goose. Then the breast meat will be done, moist and tender.

  Take up the goose using a large metal spoon to lift it from the pan and put it on a platter to cool. Pour off the “drippings” into a boiler. Add 1-cup to the water the giblets were boiled in, the cut-up giblets and diced boiled egg along with a chopped small onion and a finely chopped half-a-stalk of celery. Add two cups of additional water and simmer. Thicken with raw dressing. Boil until the celery is tender, adding additional water if needed.

  The remainder of the “drippings” are used to make corn bread dressing along with a hoe cake,  toasted bread, diced onions and celery. Do not use too much celery or this will make the dressing bitter. It is critical to adjust the salt carefully so as not to make the dressing too salty when it is cooked. For more detailed instructions please refer to my books.  

 The goose is usually served with rice or mashed potatoes along with a sweet potato casserole.

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