Roast Goose with Crispy Skin


The secret to Jacques Pépin's roast goose with irresistibly crispy skin is a little extra prep and a lengthy steam to jumpstart the rendering process.

Roasted Goose with Crispy Skin

Morgan Hunt Glaze / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Josh Hoggle

Active Time:
3 hrs
Cool Time:
12 hrs
Total Time:
18 hrs

Legendary French chef Jaques Pépin adapted a Chinese technique to ensure crisp skin for this roast goose recipe. This recipe yields a goose that is perfectly crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside. The meat is well-seasoned with an ever so subtle heat and slight honey sweetness. We were impressed by how the juices and steam stayed within the bird until it was ready to carve.

Frequently asked questions

How do you get the skin so crispy?

First, loosen the skin by gently working your fingers between the thick layer of fat and the goose meat. Then, the bird is exposed to moist heat to tighten its skin and begin rendering its fat. In Chinese duck recipes, this is usually accomplished by plunging the bird into boiling water. Here, Pépin places the goose in a roasting pan, covers it tightly with foil, and steams it on the stovetop for a substantial amount of time. This is much less cumbersome than attempting to blanch such a large bird at home, and it cuts down on the number of pans you have to scrub. The goose is chilled overnight to let the skin dry and is then roasted to crispy, moist perfection. The method of steaming does indeed “tighten” the skin as it would be if it were dunked traditionally.

How do you use the extra goose fat?

Use the reserved goose fat to saute or roast potatoes, or make these layered potatoes.

Notes from the Food & Wine Test Kitchen

Adding water to the roasting pan prevents the braising liquids from burning or charring while cooking. We found that dislocating the joints of the legs and wings (by twisting and bending them in the opposite direction of their motion) helped to locate the spot in the joint where you can cut through partially with a knife more easily.

Suggested pairing

Rich goose pairs well with a voluptuous Pinot Noir, such as one from Mendocino County.


  • 1 (10-to-12-pound) goose, neck and giblets reserved, visible fat removed

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt, plus more for jus

  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

  • 5 1/4 cups warm water

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)

  • 2 tablespoons red or white wine

  • 1 teaspoon potato starch


  1. Using a knife or kitchen scissors, trim and discard any visible fat or excess skin from goose, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of overhang. Beginning at neck end, work your fingers under goose skin, snipping any fibers and sinews with kitchen scissors; work your fingers as far down over the thighs as possible. Using a sharp knife, cut halfway through wing and leg joints (see note above — this step helps the bird cook evenly). Generously season goose inside and out with salt and pepper.

  2. Set goose on a rack in a heavy roasting pan, breast side up. Add neck, gizzard, heart, and 4 cups of the water to pan. Cover goose with foil and seal foil all around edge of pan. Place pan over 2 burners. Bring water to a boil over medium-high. Reduce heat to low and steam for 45 minutes. Remove pan from heat and let cool. Transfer rack with goose to a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, until skin is very dry (like parchment), 12 to 18 hours. Pour pan juices into a heatproof bowl through a fine mesh strainer, and refrigerate; discard solids. Clean and set aside roasting pan until ready to use. When ready to roast, remove goose from refrigerator and let stand, uncovered, about 2 hours or until room temperature.

  3. Preheat oven to 350°F and set a rack to the lower third of the oven. Add 1/4 cup water, honey, and Tabasco; whisk together and set aside. Roast goose for 1 hour, basting occasionally with honey mixture every 15 minutes. Remove goose from oven; using two tongs inserted into neck and rear cavities, carefully turn goose breast side down. Return to oven and roast for about 30 minutes longer, basting every 15 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in inner thigh registers 170°F. Turn off oven, propping oven door open slightly, and let oven temperature cool to 160°F. Transfer goose to a heatproof platter or rimmed baking sheet, breast side up. Return goose to oven to keep warm while making jus, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the jus

  1. Pour off fat in roasting pan; discard drippings and do not wipe roasting pan clean. Remove reserved pan juices from refrigerator; scrape solidified fat off refrigerated pan juices; discard or store in an airtight container in refrigerator for another use. Place roasting pan over two burners and add remaining refrigerated juices to roasting pan; bring to a boil over medium-high, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits on bottom with a wooden spoon. Pour juices into a small saucepan; bring a simmer over medium. Stir together wine and potato starch, then add potato starch slurry to saucepan and simmer over medium, stirring often, until slightly thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Season jus with salt and pepper and strain into a gravy boat. Carve goose and serve immediately with jus.

Originally appeared: December 2005
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