Been having trouble with roasting a whole goose and duck. I've been trying to keep it really simple: salt and pepper, roast at 350F until the thermometer reads 175F. The breast turns out overdone (tough and chewy) and the legs/wings are underdone (they don't fall apart off the bone).
There are so many variations on how to cook a roast goose/duck, just wanted to get some opinions on the following major variations:
1) Brine or not to brine?
My opinion: I always brine my turkeys, but I feel like with a goose or a duck there's so much fat that this should be unnecessary. Chinese BBQ places seem to produce really juicy results without brining. I prefer not to brine my roast chickens either (I tried Blumenthal and Keller's recipes side-by-side and Keller's simple high-temperature no-brine recipe turned out way better).
2) Slow roast or fast roast?
My opinion: I've seen recipes ranging from 200F to 425F. I'm leaning towards a prettylow temperature of 250F for the entire cooking process, since I've been having trouble with getting the legs done without drying out the breasts.
3) Breast side up or breast side down? (or flip every hour, flip once 2/3 of the way, etc.)
My opinion: I'm leaning towards breast side down for the entire cooking process, and then crisping up the skin at the end (see #4). Seems like this would be the best way to keep the breast juicy. I've had luck doing this with Roast Turkey.
4) Best way to crisp up the skin?
My opinion: Rather than crisping through the roasting process, I'm leaning toward searing the whole bird on the pan at a high heat (similar to Blumenthal's roast chicken). Or perhaps just removing the skin at the end of the cooking process, crisping it up in the oven, and slicing it thin over the duck/goose (from Jamie Oliver's recipe).
What are your thoughts?
Note: I know the simple solution is to separate the breasts and legs and cook them individually; pan-sear the breasts, confit the legs; but I do think that a whole roast goose or duck can be a beautiful thing.
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