Stuffed goose can be a good main course when it is properly prepared utilizing techniques that have been honed in various cultures over thousands of years. Goose contains a high percentage of fat compared to chicken and turkey, and the fat needs to be removed or rendered so that the meat tastes lean and succulent. Individuals should choose a smaller bird, from 8 to 12 pounds (17.6 to 26.4 kilograms), with a layer of fat covering it, to optimize tenderness. Once the bird has been prepped for cooking, stuffing can be added prior to the bird being roasted. There are many varieties of stuffing available for goose depending on individual taste and culture.
Shoppers should choose a goose that looks and smells fresh for stuffed goose. Once the bird has been washed and dried, excess pockets of fat can be removed from inside the cavity of the bird. This fat can be slowly cooked over low heat and used for roasting and baking in the future, a process known as rendering. At this time, it is necessary for the skin and layer of fat covering the goose to be pricked with a fork so that the fat can exit while being roasted. The meat should not be pricked, as this can lead to toughness in the finished stuffed goose.
There are many types of stuffing that can be used in stuffed goose. Chestnut stuffing is a popular tradition for the Christmas holiday and includes such items as breadcrumbs, chicken stock, and chestnuts. Dried fruit can be added to stuffing for a slightly sweet twist, and sausage is occasionally added to provide smokey flavor and heartiness. Jewish recipes involve stuffing a goose with apples, cabbage, and chestnuts. The stuffing should be chosen depending on personal taste and preference, as well as any cultural heritage that the chef is presenting.
After the goose has been loosely stuffed, its legs should be tied closed with twine to prevent stuffing from falling out and to provide even cooking. The goose should then be placed in a roasting pan, on top of a roasting rack, and roasted in an oven preheated to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius) for one hour. At this time, the oven temperature can be lowered to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (163 degrees Celsius) for an additional one and one-half to two hours. The interior temperature of the stuffed goose should reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius) when it is finished.