roast goose with ten legs

serves 10–12

While a whole glorious golden goose makes a beautiful presentation, the legs are where you find the real meat and delicious flavor. Schiltz Goose Farm, in South Dakota, sells beautiful big birds and also whole legs, four to the package. We roast one big bird for the “tah-dah!” factor, along with eight legs—and everyone is well fed and happy.

1 whole goose, 8–10 pounds
Salt and pepper
1 large handful fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons juniper berries, crushed
8 whole goose legs (thigh and drumstick attached)


Preheat the oven to 400°. Remove the neck and giblets from the goose and save to make stock, if you like. Remove any excess fat and save to make rendered fat, if you like. Rinse and pat the goose dry with paper towels. Use a wooden spoon to mix and crush together 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons pepper, the thyme leaves, and juniper berries in a small bowl. Rub the bird inside and out with the mixture, and also on the goose legs. Use a sharp fork to prick the goose and the legs all over to release fat while they cook. Bend the wings behind the bird’s back and tie its legs together.

Put the goose on a rack in a roasting pan. Pour 1 cup water into the pan to keep the fat from burning. Arrange the legs in a single layer in another large roasting pan and add a little water. Cover both pans with foil and roast for 45 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325°, uncover both pans, and roast until a meat thermometer inserted into a thigh registers 180° and the skin is brown and crisp, 1–2 hours. If the legs are cooked before the goose, remove them from the oven. You can pop them back in for a few minutes to warm them before serving. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer the goose along with the legs to a platter and serve with Apples Cooked with Cumin (Canal House Volume No. 5, page 95).


[ you can find this recipe in Canal House Cooking Volume N° 5, The Good Life ]