You’ve heard the word “goose” almost everywhere. It’s a coat brand, an American band, a type of vodka, and it’s especially a well-known waterfowl.
However, like most other birds, geese can be used as a culinary dish, and many people love its taste.
Geese were originally thought to have their origins in Europe, as they were descendants of the wild Greylag goose. On the other hand, geese may have their origins in Asia, as the descendants of the wild swan goose. Regardless, geese fossils have been found ranging from 10 to 12 million years ago…which is a long time!
Geese have also been around for a long amount of time for eating. Similar to turkey, chicken, and duck, goose is served as a delicacy in many holiday feasts. It’s also a common dinnertime centerpiece in many countries.
China remains the largest center of goose meat consumption worldwide. Next in line comes France and then Myanmar, so it’s clear that geese are a popular staple.
Not only is goose meat enjoyable to eat, but it’s also beneficial to your body. Goose meat contains a lot of vitamins and nutrients and has a ton of protein which helps to strengthen muscles. For example, you’ll find iron, which is very beneficial to keep your blood healthy, as well as vitamin B6, which helps maintain the health of your skin and hair.
So what does goose taste like? For those who’ve never tried this special bird, you may not know what it tastes like. As a quick explanation, goose tastes like rich rare roast beef. Sounds delicious, let’s talk about it some more!
What Does Goose Taste Like?
In general, wildfowl, like the goose, can have an acquired taste, as the flavor is distinctive and most likely gamy. However, once cooked, its flavors really shine, especially if the bird’s diet consisted of rice, grain, wild berries, or herbs.
A wild goose has a similar taste to rich roast beef. When cooked, goose meat is rich and flavorful. When roasted, the goose is succulent and sweet. Some have called it a sweet alternative to duck meat. The skin also gets crispy when roasted.
However, you can also eat a domestic goose, which refers to geese that people keep at their home as a source of food for different purposes.
What’s the Texture of Goose Like?
Goose is densely-textured. It has higher fat content under its skin rather than in the meat. This causes the fat to melt and baste the meat during cooking, keeping it juicy.
Since goose is extremely fatty, you’ll want to be careful when cooking it. Overcooked goose is tough and chewy. (Unlike chicken or turkey, which becomes dry and stingy).
According to some, there is a difference in taste and texture between wild and domestic goose. Typically, wild geese are much harder to prepare since its collagen amount is much harder, therefore making the meat chewier. A domestic goose, on the other hand, has a naturally juicy texture, making the meat more delicious and tender.
What Tastes Similar to Goose?
Goose meat tends to be classed as white meat, although you’ll see darker colored meat on the bird too. As a result, it’s similar to other white meats.
If you’re going after an alternative in taste, rather than presentation, try eating beef or moose meat.
When is Goose in Season?
Domestic geese are most delicious and ready to be eaten at two times of the year. One is when they’re young, which happens to be in the early summer, and the other at the end of the year when they are fattest. The end of the year goose is known to be eaten during holiday festivities, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect.
Generally speaking, fresh geese can be bought from certain stores from late September to December. You can also hunt geese legally during regular hunting seasons.
How to Serve Goose
There are a couple of ways to properly serve geese (or ways that we think is best).
However, just as when prepping a turkey, you have to make sure you defrost your goose (if it’s frozen, you want to make sure you get it to room temperature before cooking).
Then, you need to remove the neck, giblets, and wing tips. This includes its heart, gizzard, and liver. I know, I know, that’s the least fun part, but you have to get through the ugly to get to the beauty.
This is, by far, the most popular method of serving a goose. Not only can you make the meat tender this way, but it’s also great for getting all delicious seasonings and flavors into it. It also highlights getting the skin nice and crispy. Although it’s a longer process, it’s worth the wait.
To roast a goose, remove the excess fat. Roasting also makes the best use out of goose fat, so make sure you save it. Proceed to prick the goose’s skin all over with a needle. This will help the skin fully crisp up. But be careful not to pierce the meat, just the skin. Pro tip: stick the needle in from an angle.
You’re now ready to season your goose. Go ahead and season it with whatever you think is best; salt, pepper, lemon, garlic whatever. Once it’s nice and seasoned, you can put your goose breast-side up on a rack in a roasting pan and stick it in the oven. There are different ways to roast your goose, so be diligent with checking internal temperatures.
A quicker method, you’ll have to begin by slicing the goose breast to a size that will fit a stove-top pan.
You’ll then salt the goose breast and (once again) bring the meat to room temperature for about 20 to 40 minutes. Next, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and white it hearts, take a paper towel and pat the breasts dry. Similar to how you prepared a roasted goose, make slices in the skin about 1-inch apart. Score the breasts in a crosshatch pattern.
Next comes the searing. Lower the breasts into the hot skillet and cook the breasts on one side over medium-high heat for 4 minutes. Flip it over and cook for another 4. Once seared, put the skillet in the oven and toast the breast for 15 minutes.
This is not your traditional method, but it sure does work!
Cut the goose breasts into ½ inch thick slices and then put them into a slow cooker. Now it’s your turn to get creative. Just like any other slow cooker recipe, you have the option to add whichever ingredients you’d like to simmer in with the goose. This can be fruit, vegetables, garlic, different types of sauce, and more.
Once you have the ingredients all in, stir them together to make sure the goose breasts are coated. Turn the slow cooker on low and leave the goose to cook until it is tender and cooked throughout, which may take 8 or 9 hours.
Best Alternative to Goose
If you are looking for a classic alternative for a festive dinner table, you’ll want to try eating another bird such as duck, turkey, or chicken. Many waterfowl take similar preparation methods (although they may have different tastes).
You should note that goose has two times more flavor than chicken, as it’s more juicy and tender.
However, it’s common to see turkey, chicken, and duck during Thanksgiving and the winter holidays. Plus, geese are hunted at the same time of year as these birds. Therefore, if you have trouble finding geese, it’s almost certain you can find one of these alternatives that’ll brighten up your table!