Feast! Fine Foods 3 minute read

Tips for Game Bird Cooking & Selection

A little bit of inside knowledge goes a long way when cooking with some more unusual products.

DUCK SELECTION

  • In general poultry should have a clean overall appearance, free from blemishes or bruises.
  • When selecting a duck the flesh should be plump and firm.
  • The skin should be unbroken and free of scarring or feathers.

COOKING DUCK

  • To help get crispy skin, store the duck uncovered in the fridge overnight. Bring the duck to room temperature and pat it dry then prick the skin all over, taking care not to hit the meat.
  • Place the duck on a rack in a roasting tray so that the fat can drain freely. Pre-heat your oven and cook for 40 minutes per kg at 190°c.
  • For extra flavour, add aromats such as thyme and parsley into the cavity. Avoid over stuffing to allow ventilation through the duck. Season with salt and pepper and rub into skin.
  • Tuck the wing tips of the duck underneath when cooking to prevent them burning.
  • The duck is ready when it is brown all over and juices run clear.
  • To retain the moisture and allow the juices to settle, let the duck rest for 20 minutes in a warm place before carving.
  • Duck fat is perfect for making crispy roast potatoes. Drain the fat from your roasting tray and use immediately or store in the fridge for future use.
  • Preheat your oven to 240°C. Season bird with salt and pepper.
  • Place goose in the oven breast side up for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 180°C, allowing about 15 minutes per 500g.
  • In European cultures more often than not, geese are stuffed. Typical stuffings are apple, chestnut and red cabbage or apple, sage and pork sausage.
  • A cooked goose will have an internal temperature at the thigh of 75°C.
  • Rest 20 minutes before carving.

GOOSE SELECTION

Always purchase goose from a reputable retailer that has knowledge of how the product was raised. As with all meat products, free-range generally delivers a more flavoursome product. When cooking a goose, make sure that you use a deep pan and a roasting rack as there will be a lot of fat that will render off the bird.

COOKING GOOSE

  • Preheat your oven to 240°C. Season bird with salt and pepper.
  • Place goose in the oven breast side up for 15 minutes then reduce heat to 180°C, allowing about 15 minutes per 500g.
  • In European cultures more often than not, geese are stuffed. Typical stuffings are apple, chestnut and red cabbage or apple, sage and pork sausage.
  • A cooked goose will have an internal temperature at the thigh of 75°C.
  • Rest 20 minutes before carving.

COOKING PHEASANT

  • Pheasant doesn’t have as much fat as other meats which means that it is more likely to dry out if cooked incorrectly. To compensate, add extra fats such as butter under the skin and in the cavity to keep the flesh moist. Sealing and then cooking in a bag is another method for moist flesh.
  • Preheat your oven to 180°C. Season bird with salt and pepper.
  • Allow about 30 minutes cooking time for an average bird.
  • To check the pheasant is correctly cooked, you can use a meat thermometer – the breast temperature should reach 63ºC and the leg temperature should reach 80-82ºC. When cooked, set the pheasant aside in a warm place, loosely covered, to rest for 20 minutes.