How to Cook a Goose

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For some of us (unfortunately, not my husband), there is no better way to celebrate Christmas than with a roast Goose. One of my favorite carols is the one that goes “Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, please put a penny in the old man’s hat. If you haven’t got a penny, a half-penny will do, and if you haven’t got a half-penny then God bless you!”

When I think of roasted goose, I think of the holidays of yore, magical village streets with snow falling, and nights when the only light was from the fireplaces and candles, and we were all living in tune with the rhythms of nature because there was no other way to live. Good times!

Roasting a goose couldn’t be easier, and what makes it so yummy is all the crispy skin and dark meat.

Roast Goose


  • 1 goose, cleaned and ready to cook
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 apples (optional)


1. Put the goose in a giant, high-sided roasting pan (because there will be lots of fat!).

2. Put the two apples inside to absorb some of the fat (not to eat!).

3.  Sprinkle the goose with salt, and put it into an oven preheated to 400 degrees.

4. After about a half hour, turn the oven down to 350 degrees.

5. Cook until done (about 10 to 15 minutes per pound).

If there is lots of grease, you can pour some out halfway through the roasting process, but be careful! It’s hot! You can also save some of the fat for cooking other good things later; keep it in the fridge.

One of my most favorite memories from my childhood is running down to my grandmother’s house when she had just made a soup of white beans cooked in goose broth. (Knowing Nana, the goose was probably from our farm.) I can still see the warm glow of her kitchen light shining down on a most perfect white china bowl (the formal, flat kind of soup bowl) filled with a pale, golden, rich broth with white beans floating in it. I think she used the good silver, too. It was so delicious!

So don’t forget to turn the goose carcass into broth when you are done and make some soup!


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8 Responses to How to Cook a Goose

  1. Holly December 17, 2010 at 8:34 am #

    I sang this exact carol to my beloved last night!
    Kismet (my favorite Turkish word).

  2. Dawn December 17, 2010 at 11:18 am #

    One of the fondest memories I have from my childhood is Miss Piggy singing that very song on the John Denver & Muppets Christmas record! And yes, I said record… Happy Holidays!

  3. Maya December 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm #


  4. Donna in Delaware December 17, 2010 at 7:34 pm #

    My husband just asked for a goose last week. Unbelievable!!

  5. Amanda December 18, 2010 at 12:20 am #

    I have wonderful memories of singing that song with when my mother was pregnant with my little sister. At the line “the goose is getting fat” I would pat her gorgeous mama-belly! Although I have no little bun in my oven, I’m enjoying teaching the carol to my son this year. He gets a kick out of it every time. Although I explaining a “ha-penny” to a four-year-old is a little challenging!

    Also, we’re hoping to do a goose this year and I was all worried since I’ve never cooked one before. Perfect timing. Thank you so much!

  6. Marie December 19, 2010 at 4:24 am #

    I have never eaten goose, we do not have them around here. Cheers from New Zealand Marie

  7. Scott Bohall December 20, 2015 at 4:39 pm #

    I order a goose from Shiltz farms every year. Everyone loves it whether I serve the smoked goose breast or roast a whole goose. Great flavor, great tradition and much better than chicken or turkey.

  8. Trudy September 23, 2018 at 10:09 pm #

    I just got some geese for free, planning to eat them for the holidays. They are over a year old, though, so I’m worried they might be too tough. Do you think the roasting will be sufficient to ensure a tender eating experience? Also, I’ve never had goose, what does the flavor most closely resemble?

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