My goose is cooked

This bird ain’t no turkey.

Don’t get me wrong — I’ve become a fan. The turkeys we could get in Italy were modest in girth and chest size, not engineered to be the fowl equivalent of a blowup doll (in appearance and taste), and they were free-range, because that’s how it’s still done over there. Mostly. And back in the States, it’s easier than ever to get a heritage breed bird, one that cooks up full of flavor from wattle to tail, with nary a cottony part in between. I never got any Thanksgiving turkey this year, but that’s okay, because I discovered goose.

I may never eat another turkey again.

This is a Tamarack Hollow bird. Mike happened to have a few freshly slaughtered geese at his Union Square Greenmarket stand last Wednesday.

Notice how dark the breast meat is — like that of a magret or equally spectacular duck. And that’s what it tastes like too, except maybe better, with less potential fibrousness. My first reaction when I took a bite was to wonder why I eat any other kind of poultry. Why eat duck when one can have goose? Chicken? Pfffffft. I’ve retreated from the ledge since, not to worry; chicken has its place, but goose deserves far more hallowed status in the poultry pantheon. Funnily enough, with such a fatty bird, the breast is best roasted, but the legs, which end up a little tough benefit more from braising or confiting. The breast though — eye-rollingly delicious. Scroll up and look at it again; give it your undivided attention. Check out that skin.

The other reason to go goose if one is doing a Big Bird is that it pays major, major dividends. A turkey is never going to give up a quart of magical fat — fat that turns German butterball potatoes into this:

And a liver that can be turned into this:

(That’s a mousse de foie.)

And the gizzards and heart — well, that’s a post for another day.


5 Responses to “My goose is cooked”

  1. 1 ntsc December 24, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    That mousse looks devine.

    We haven’t done goose in a long time.

  2. 2 allanroth December 24, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    If this is the meal you did with Joyce I’m never turning down a dinner invite ever again. Never ever.

  3. 3 winyang December 24, 2008 at 6:08 pm

    Yeah, I have to say it might have been one of the better ones. I would offer you leftovers, but there are just a few little goose scraps remaining. Ten people managed to house five bunches of kale too, which is more than anyone really thought possible, especially considering that it was all raw — I have a new favorite kale recipe that maybe someday I’ll reveal to you. And oh yeah, I made Guinness cake and ice cream.

  4. 4 Do Bianchi January 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm

    happy new year winnie!

  5. 5 joseph January 15, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    that looks amazing. i’ve always wanted to cook a goose, but i’ve never made it past ducks and turkeys on that culinary ladder.

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