A couple months ago I was given 3 frozen geese by the local food bank to try and come up with recipes on how to cook them.  The geese were donated by a grocery store, but no one wanted to take them because very few people (myself included) know how to cook a goose.  I began putting the word out on twitter and emailing friends, and it was my Chinese auntie’s recipe that ended up being the most cost effective and easiest to make.

I was really surprised at how cheap the goose was.  It’s price tag put it at only $1 a pound!  This nine pound goose was only $9, and fed us for several meals.  It also made more than a pint of rendered goose fat, which I think made me more excited than the goose itself!


Geese are very fatty, but that’s a good thing.  Goose fat is the healthiest animal fat after fish.  It’s much healthier than lard and makes some crazy good roasted potatoes.  I plan to try some in a pie crust next to make a savory pot pie.

I’ll do a separate post sometime on rendering fat, but basically it’s just simmering fat in water to melt it until all the water evaporates and you’re left with beautiful golden oil.  Once it cools it looks a little like Crisco or lard, and it tastes oh so good.


I also used the neck and giblets to make an easy gravy.  It’s great poured over the goose meat, and I had over a pint of gravy so had lots leftover for mashed potatoes over the next couple of weeks.

If you don’t have the Chinese ingredients that are staples in my kitchen, you can substitute a white wine for the Shaoxing wine and a cheap balsamic vinegar for the Chinese black vinegar.  If you have an Asian grocery store near you, I highly recommend getting the Chinese ingredients, they’re really good AND far cheaper than their American substitutions if bought in an ethnic store. 

The recipe looks long, but includes the gravy.  Don’t be intimidated!  Next week I’ll give you an easy Vietnamese soup recipe for the leftover meat.

Have you ever considered roasting a whole goose?



Chinese Roast Goose Recipe

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Total time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 10-12 servings of meat


  • 10-14 lb
  • 2 TBS
    kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp
    ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TBS
    Chinese black vinegar
  • 2 medium
    apples, chopped
  • 5 bulbs
    garlic, unpeeled (yes 5 whole giant bulbs!)
  • 3 cups
    Chinese Shaoxing wine, divided
  • 3
    carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium
    onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 TBS

Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Once goose is thawed (in fridge over a few days or in tub of ice water 8-10 hours) unwrap the goose and remove the neck and giblets, reserving them for the gravy. Rinse the goose and pat dry, then season inside and out with the salt and pepper.
  3. Use a fork to gently prick through just the skin all over the goose then rub outside of the bird with 1/4 of the black vinegar.
  4. Stuff the bird with the chopped apples and garlic bulbs. Put on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up and pour a small amount of water in the pan. Cover with foil and place in the oven to roast for three hours.
  5. While goose begins roasting, start the gravy by placing neck, giblets, 2 TBS black vinegar, 1 cup wine, carrots and onions in a pot. Add enough water to just cover the ingredients.
  6. Cover and simmer three hours.
  7. Once goose has roasted three hours, uncover and prick skin again. Pour 2 cups of wine over the goose. Return to the oven, uncovered for one hour.
  8. When gravy ingredients have simmered three hours, remove lid and strain. Boil the liquid over high heat, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Whisk 3/4 cup of the liquid into a bowl with the cornstarch until smooth, then stir into remaining liquid until slightly thickened.
  9. When goose has browned nicely and internal temperature is 160-165 degrees, remove from the oven. Let cool 5-10 minutes then carve breast meat and drumsticks from the bird.
  10. Serve meat with gravy.
  11. Use your fingers to pick off additional meat once bird is completely cool. Strain fat from the roasting pan and refrigerate to use as a cooking fat.



Approximate cost/serving: Since the goose was only $10 and made enough meat for 6 as a main dish and 6 servings of Pho the next day, it was only $1 per serving with the other ingredients included.  If you count the leftover gravy and the fat for cooking, it’s even cheaper!

Gluten Free: No substitutions necessary.

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Nutritional and cost information is for estimating purposes only, and subject to variations due to region, seasonality, and product availability.