How To Roast a Goose or Duck

photo credit: maxsheb


Roasting a goose or a duck requires some work and preparation not typical to roasting most other types of poultry such as a turkey or a chicken. Both the goose and duck have very thick skin with conceals large amounts of fat. Fat needs to be drawn out of the bird during the cooking process. Properly cooked, the goose will not be greasy.


Remove the wishbone - Turn the goose breast side up and pull back the skin to reveal the bone. Use a small sharp knife and cut around the visible portions of the bone on both sides. Just cut deeply enough so the bone can be removed. Hook your finger around the bone and pull it out.

Stuff and sew up the vent - Once the wishbone is removed stuff the goose. Stuffing will add flavor and moisture to the meat. A combination of apples and onions makes a simple and flavorful stuffing. Don't overstuff the bird. Sew up the vent with a trussing needle and kitchen string.

Pierce the skin - Use the trussing needle and lightly pierce the skin all over the bird but don't puncture the skin.  This will help release the fat but not the juices.

preparing goose
Sewing up the vent of  the stuffed goose

Roast The Goose

First place the goose on it's side in a shallow roasting pan. You may want to use a roasting rack to keep the bird in position in the pan.  Pour a small amount of water in the pan so that as the fat releases it won't burn. As the goose roasts baste with the drippings. Turn the bird on it's other side after 1/3 of the roasting time has passed. Turn the bird breast side up for the final 1/3 of the roasting.

goose in pan

Roasting and basting the goose

Nutrition Information For How To Roast a Goose or Duck

Serving Size
1 unit (yield from 1 lb ready-to-cook goose)
Calories from Fat
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g
Saturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 137mg
Sodium 109mg
Total Carbohydrate 0g
Dietary Fiber 0g
Sugars 0g
Protein 41g
Vitamin A  0% Vitamin C  0%
Calcium  0% Iron  0%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Roasting Timetable

Pounds Kg Roast 425 Roast 350
6 - 10 3 - 4 1/2 1/2 hr 3/4 - 1 1/2 hr
10 - 14 4 1/2 - 6 1/2 1/2 hr 1 1/2 - 2 1/2

Resting Time

Remove the goose and place it on your cutting board and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Caving And Serving

Carving The Goose

Remove the trussing strings.   Use a heavy bladed knife and cut down through the shoulder joint and cur all the way through to free the wing..

carve goose wing

Next, remove the legs by cutting in an arc around each leg as shown below. Cut through the joint to free the leg. Cut the thigh and the drumstick so you have two portions.

carve goose leg

Use a long carving knife to carve the breast meat. Lift the slices between your carving knife and fork and avoid piecing the meat which would release the juices.

carving goose breast


Place the goose meat on a warmed platter for the final presentation.


Barbara Bowman graduated with degree in Foods and Nutrition from San Jose State University. As CEO of she spends most waking hours writing, cooking, eating, gardening and traveling.