Roast Duck or Goose

  • Active Time 10m
  • Total Time 2h 25m

Roast goose makes a delicious alternative to turkey. You'll get crisp skin and meat that's not greasy by roasting first in a low temperature oven and then increasing the heat. Ducks weigh 4 1/2 to 6 pounds; allow at least 2 pounds per person. Geese weigh 8 to 10 pounds; allow at least 2 pounds per person.

Many stuffings will work with this recipe. This Chestnut and Apple Stuffing is a good one to try. Alternatively, fill the cavity with chopped apples and onions to obtain proper cook time and an aromatic touch.


  • 1 free-range, naturally fed duck or goose
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt mixed with a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1 cup water


Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Trim any excess fat, rinse the bird inside and out, and pat it dry. Slip your fingers or a rubber spatula between the fat and the meat to separate them, and prick the skin all over with a sharp-tined fork, taking care not to prick the meat. If possible, turn on a fan to let the bird air-dry while it comes to room temperature. Stuff the bird three-quarters full. Rub the outside with the olive oil and then massage the bird thoroughly with the salt and pepper mixture. Tie the legs together loosely.

Put the bird in a roasting pan (preferably fitted with a rack). Pour the water in the pan. Position the pan so that the bird's legs point toward the back of the oven. Roast for 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pour off the fat and water. Separate the fat to use for basting.

Return the bird to the oven and increase the temperature to 400 degrees F. Continue to cook for another 1 hour and 15 minutes for a duck; 2 hours for a goose. During this time, pour grease off once or twice more.

For the last hour of roasting, turn the pan so that the legs face the front of the oven. Refrain from basting for the last half hour of cooking time. The bird is done when the juices run clear from a thigh pricked all the way down to the joint and when a meat thermometer inserted in the inner thigh below the leg joint reads 175-180 degrees F. A thermometer inserted in the stuffing's center should read at least 160 degrees F. Transfer the bird to a platter and let it rest 15 minutes before carving.

Recipe reprinted by permission of <I>Fine Cooking<. All rights reserved.

RecID 833

nutrition information per serving

618 calories; 35g total fat; 237mg cholesterol; 1599mg sodium; 0g carbohydrates; 0g fiber; 72g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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