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I have two goose breasts... any ideas?

post #1 of 32
Thread Starter 
My potential brother-in-law just arrived from Michigan and brought with him two Canadian goose breasts which are frozen and waiting to be savoured.

Never had goose before. I hear it's very good.

I don't know if we're going to have them Thursday for Thanksgiving or Friday.

I am hoping some of you will be able to provide me with a tried recipe or a credible source from which to obtain one that you are familiar with. I've been searching on the net for recipes (no surprise to some), but I'd like to try suggestions from someone here.

I'd prefer it to be extremely tender, succulent, and pleasantly flavorful. Not too gamey, not overpowered by spices but enhanced by them by preferrably a marinade and/or slow roasting/cooking or broiling.

I'd like to avoid excessive fruit and barbequeing, unless you talk me into it. I'm open to general opinions regarding methods on the subject; also interested in what typically goes well with it (like lamb and rosemary). I'm curious about a confit, and if you'd like me to post the possible recipes for discussion, I'd be more than happy to.

Thanks in advance!


[This message has been edited by cchiu (edited 11-21-2000).]

[This message has been edited by cchiu (edited 11-21-2000).]
post #2 of 32
CChiu, It is not to often that I prepare breast of Goose, I prefere it whole roasted, Then you can cook it slowly. I would shy away from slow cooking the breast however ( very little fat) And do a pan roast. I do Duck Magret mohoganey (sp?)To clean the breast, First turn the flesh side up and remove any silver skin,being careful not to remove the tenderloin. Trim off any fat on the flesh side. Turn over so skin is up, Trim outer areas of the breast and look at the breast part that would be closer to the wish bone. The reason is the fat may be thicker there, if it is trim it to the same depth as the rear section. Take your knife and make a tic tac toe design on the fat side being sure not to go down all the way to the meat.Rub it with asian 5 spice powder, this will help it tenderize. Let masirate in the fridge four 3 hours. While in the fridge,take some mollassas, jack Danials,fresh ginger root a little salt and black pepper and mix in a bowl. Add the Goose to the marinade and let sit in the fridge for 1 more hour. Remove the breast and pat dry and place in a cool saute pan and render the fat ( skin side down) until deep brown and you see the fat jumping about. This should be done on medium heat as to not burn the sugars. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. After brown turn over the breast and cook for 3 minutes, place a piece of tin foil right on the breast. Not as a tent you don't want to steam it and place in the pre heated oven for about 15 minutes give or take after ten minutes in the oven remove the foil. Remove the Goose from the oven and let it sit for ten minutes or more to let the juices solidefy. slice very thinly on a bias. I serve this with mashed sweet potatoes with charred shallots and sauteed apples , Just a Idea. Happy cooking
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #3 of 32
Maryeo, they would all work. Althought the color and flavor would be different. The mollassas does not really mellow all that much,Actually it intensifise as it carmilizes.If you do not like Mollassas use brown suger and a little maple syrup. The Brown suger will give you that mohogany finish you want
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #4 of 32
Thread Starter 
thanks to those who have responded so far...

cape chef, so on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the sweetest, how sweet is the overall flavor of your recipe?
post #5 of 32
cchiu, Use fresh ginger root minced.

If the bird is skinless (which I dought)
Macarate for 1 1/2 hours istead of 3 hours
and reduce maranade time by about half.
If it is skinless do not use a cool pan use a medium high tempature,make sure it is preheated. Now at this time pat the breat dry put two tablespoons each butter and canola oil,wait until the butter stops bubbling and put the breast is the pan. Be sure to drap it away from you (toward the rear of the pan) so you don't splatter on yourself, cook for about 3 or 4 minutes on each side then place in the preheated oven for 5 minutes no foil.If you take your pointer finger and touch the fatty ball below your thumb as you move it closer to the center of the base of your hand it will go from soft to firm when the breast feels about what your hand feels like mid way to the center it is done pull it out lest rest and slice
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #6 of 32
Thread Starter 
Thanks cape chef. Looking foward to trying it!
post #7 of 32
cchiu, It really is not a sweet dish,the mollassas really gives the color to the breast. It does add some sweetnest but not much,also the Goose if very rich in flavor so really everything plays very well off eachother. Ok Ok you wanted a number 5 3/8,
happy cooking
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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Baruch ben Rueven / Chanaבראד, ילד של ריימונד והאלאן
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post #8 of 32
Thread Starter 
he, he

All right cape chef.

That last response right there may tip me into going for it!

Now, let me break this down, please note that I am not good at "a little of this and a little of that " which is why I'm a better baker. Also. I will be travelling to their family's house about 2 hours away and my not have access to the net so I need to be clear on everything before I go.

AND, I just called and currently can't get ahold of anyone to verify whether the breast has skin or not. It was a trade between hunters, fish for goose. So I need to know what I happens if there is no skin because I realize this may affect the flavor and moistness.

I'm going to write this like a recipe, could you please fill in the blanks, correct the quantities, instructions?

Duck Magret Mahogany

1 breast of goose with skin [***** need provisions for without!!!!]
2T five-spice powder
1.5T mollassas
2T Jack Daniels
1t ginger, minced (or grated? or microplaned?)
1t kosher salt
1t fresh ground pepper

Preparation:
1. To clean breast, turn flesh side up and remove any silver skin, being careful not to remove the tenderloin. Trim off any fat on the flesh side. Turn skin side up, trim outer areas of the breast and look at the breast part that would be closer to the wish bone. (If the fat is thicker there, trim it to the same depth as the rear section.)

2. Take your knife and make a tic tac toe design on the fat side being sure not to go down all the way to the meat. Rub it with five-spice powder, to tenderize. Let macerate in fridge 3 hours.

3. In large bowl, mix mollassas, Jack Daniels, ginger, salt, and black pepper.

4. After macerated 3 hours, add Goose to marinade and let sit in the fridge for 1 more hour.

5. Preheat oven to 425º. Remove breast and pat dry, place in cool saute pan skin side down. Using medium heat (so as not to burn the sugars), cook until deep brown and you see the fat jumping. About 10 minutes. When brown turn over and cook 3 more minutes.

6. Cover breast with a piece of tin foil (Not as a tent - you don't want to steam it.). Put in oven about 15 minutes, removing foil after ten minutes.

8. Remove from oven and let rest ten minutes or more (this allows juices to solidify).

9. Slice very thinly on a bias. Enjoy!
post #9 of 32

Mudbug, I'd love to know how it turned out. I've got some wild Canadian goose to cook as well (breast and thigh) and I've never done it before. I like the idea of the stronger flavours (molasses, ginger) in case I don't like the gameyness of the meat (I'm going to brine it first). Best of luck!

post #10 of 32

You might have difficulty getting a response from mudbug, since this thread is over a decade old, and he hasn't posted anything since '07. But I would be happy to chime in. First, a little pet peeve to get out of the way. The goose in question is the Branta canadensis, commonly known as the Canada Goose. Note that I didn't say Canadian. It's Canada Goose.

 

Next, from my experience, Canadas are usually not very gamey or fishy because of a near-herbacious diet. If need be, Canadas will eat small fish and such, but the vast majority of their diet is made up of grasses and crops. You should see a soybean field after a large gaggle of Canadas is finished with it.

 

I like my waterfowl to be cooked as simply as possible, especially when we start talking about geese. Perhaps the best goose I have ever eaten was seared and roasted, served with a variation of a Cumberland sauce, and some herb roasted potatoes. As with most waterfowl, you will want to cook the goose to medium at the most. Anything beyond that will dry it out and accentuate any gamey taste that may be present. Don't be afraid to add extra fat; in fact I would encourage it. Basted with butter, wrapped in bacon, whatever you have to do to prevent it from drying out.

 

Now to your particular geese, are the breasts and thighs separate?

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #11 of 32

Thanks tylerm. I looked at 11/22 and didn't notice the year. Here we are, several generations of geese later! (One might think they'd delete these old threads, but I guess they serve as a reference point). 

 

Now, my goose were shot here in Canada, so they are by geography alone 'Canadian geese', species aside. (I take it that "Canadian geese" is a common inaccuracy south of the border, thus your pet peeve?) I think you're correct, though, the goose shot in Michigan referred to (inaccurately) above were Canadas - Brants- so your correction stands. Now, I don't know what I have are Canada Goose (an inlaw shot them, and my partner didn't think to ask what species) but yes, that is a distinction that the original poster didn't make but we know what he meant. And yes, the breasts and thighs are separate.

 

Just as an aside, there are two distinct groups of Canadas emerging in southern Canada. Those that normally migrate - likely the ones being hunted in the US - and those that don't and are on 'popcorn welfare'. We now have a year round resident population that fouls the beaches and attacks you for food, eating garbage, popcorn and tossed hot dogs, which are themselves barely edible even to humans. Hardly an appetizing behaviour. So I'm guessing that these aren't Canadas, just because of a growing disinclination to eat them (at least in the Toronto area) because of the off-putting association with garbage. That, and they're too fat to fly very far, disabled by obesity. But I don't know for sure. 

 

Do breasts and thighs require different treatment? (Likely). If so, and since they've been frozen, I was thinking I might braise them as a stew. Though I very much like your advice of just cooking them to medium - most of us grew up on overcooked birds and are not anxious to repeat that experience. 

 

Alex

 

post #12 of 32

Braise, smoke or confit.  Low and slow, cook until tender.  My preference and instinct would be to smoke, but I live in SoCal and outdoor cooking is less of a challenge.  If you choose to braise, slash and brown the parts slowly so as to completely render any and all fat.  Goose fat is gold whose highest purpose is cooking potato pancakes.

 

BDL

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What were we talking about?
 
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post #13 of 32

I can't offer any sort of cooking advice for the Canada goose but I can offer one tidbit on the taste.  I won't be offended if someone deletes my post for lack of content.

 

The only time I've eaten this creature in my life was in first grade, Mrs. Swint's class.  Her son prepared them and she brought it in for us to try.  I still remember the utter deliciousness of the bird.  I can remember what it tasted like, what it looked like and what it smelled like and I'm pretty sure it will be on the menu in my version of heaven.

 

 

I don't like food, I love it.  If I don't love it, I don't swallow.
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I don't like food, I love it.  If I don't love it, I don't swallow.
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post #14 of 32

Well, Tyler, you beat me to it on the name of the bird. Canadians are people from up north. Canada goose is the correct nomenclature for the bird.

 

That aside, I suspect that there was some confusion in the original discussion, and that Cape Chef didn't realize the op was talking about a wild bird, rather than a domestic goose. From a cooking standpoint, you really can't consider them the same bird, as neither the fat content nor the texture of the flesh is the same.

 

Canada geese have dark, red flesh, and, in many respects, should be treated like beef. The breasts, for instance, should be broiled only to the rare stage. Much more than that and they toughen up. Treating it like a magret---which is the breast of the quite fatty muscovey duck---is a sure-fire way to destroy it. All that scoring of the magret skin, for instance, is so the fat can better render out. But a Canada goose doesn't have that fat. Just the opposite, in fact.

 

Day in and day out, if I'm making just the breasts, all I do is season them, and pop in the broiler. Depending on size, 4-5 minutes per side is plenty. Then serve with an appropriate sauce.

 

For a change of pace, however, I really like dishes like fried goose in ginger sauce. But, again, cooking time has to be watched carefully.

 

Although I like smoking a whole goose, I don't think I'd do just breasts that way. And, unless you've got an outside source of duck or goose fat, there's no way you can confit a wild Canada. The fat just isn't there.

 

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #15 of 32

This may indeed be Canada Goose, then. The flesh is deep crimson, sort of like beef but even more burgundy tinged, not the bright red of a piece of store-bought beef. And I don't really see much fat. Anyway, I doubt it really matters since whatever the species it is, it's wild and lean and has the characteristics described above. 

 

I think I'll do the rarer way with the breasts, and the legs I'll probably braise separately. The waterfowl page I checked said to cook everything thoroughly, but it was a government site so I suspect they elevate caution over all other considerations such as palatability.

 

I might even try a confit with the legs after another hunt, perhaps when I get a couple more to make it worth while. I'd heard the term before, but wasn't really sure what it was. But a quick read has me very interested. It sounds like a very traditional way to treat game, and that interests me, if I can round up some duck or goose fat. You guys really know your stuff. 

 

Thanks, all!

post #16 of 32

Your description of the flesh sounds balls on, XanderMac.

 

You might be interested in knowing, too, that there are 14 subspecies of Canada geese, differing primarily in size. These range from the Lesser Canada, which is barely larger than a mallard, to the Giant Canada, which can reach 23 pounds.

 

This, obviously, effects the size of the breasts, and, ultimately, cooking time. Most of the geese harvested in the U.S. are flight birds of standard Canadas, which average 11-13 pounds. My cooking times and procedures are based on that.

 

You're breasts likely came from a standard or the next size up. But, just in case, monitor your cooking time carefully.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #17 of 32

Yes, it definitely fits the bill of a Canada goose. However, there are several other species that it could be, and you would probably never be able to tell without the rest of the carcass. However, the only relevant point is the size, as KY mentioned. Other than that, I don't think it will make any difference to you if it's a Canada or a Snow goose. For culinary purposes, you probably won't be able to tell the difference, even though the two are not at all related (different genus altogether).

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #18 of 32

You're probably right, Tyler, that XanderMac won't be able to tell by looking at them, because of unfamiliarity. But guys like you, me, and OldPro should have no problem. The flesh of Canadas is much darker than that of snow/blue geese and specks. Brant are about as dark. But considering that XM is in central Canada, it's doubtful that they are brants.

 

If the were specks, of course, I'd have to advise XM that they are bad for you, and should be carefully wrapped, chilled, and overnighted to me for proper disposal. drinkbeer.gif

 

Swan and Canada goose meat could be confused. But, from a size perspective, there's no question if they are swan breasts.

 

I don't have enough experience with them to know for sure, but my impression is that sandhills are about the same color as snow geese. That is, somewhat paler than Canadas.

 

From a cooking viewpoint, none of this matters, as they should all be handled pretty much the same. The key: Beware of overcooking.


Edited by KYHeirloomer - 12/1/10 at 7:01am
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

The flesh of Canadas is much darker than that of snow/blue geese and specks.  



I'm glad to see that you know that snows and blues are one in the same, and merely different morphs of the same species. I had a debate with someone at Thanksgiving (an uncle that fancies himself a hunter) who tried to convince me that they are distinct species because they look different. While that might have been the belief 50 years ago, I think today it is commonly held that both snows and blues are members of the same genus (which one exactly is debatable) and species.

 

You are very correct about the color of skin. I always thought that Canada goose meat had a similar color to coagulated blood. Very dark. Specks on the other had look like an oversized duck when breasted out.

 

As an aside related to specks, we consider them oversized ducks here, in that they can be decoyed much like a duck, will often fly with ducks, and often aren't much larger than a duck. But boy they taste great. I always get excited when I see a flight headed my way.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #20 of 32

Just don't get too excited, Tyler. That usually translates, with an O/U,  that you miss the first shot by shooting over them, and miss the second by shooting under. cool.gif

 

It's quite common, among old timers (and not so old ones, come to think of it), to think of snows and blues as different species. But keep in mind, most hunters are just that, hunters. They're not zoologists, and pass along the info they were taught by other hunters. So a lot of information, that is technically incorrect, gets passed down, one hunting generation to the next.

 

Forget them being different species. How about the believe that blues are the immature version of snows? I've heard that more than once.

 

Wasn't aware that their genus was under dispute, but, rather, it was a subspecies thing. My understanding is that blues are a dark phase of the lesser snow (which, of course, makes them both the same subspecies), but that the greater snows are always white.

 

But maybe we best get back to cooking 'em, before we bore everyone else to death.

 

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #21 of 32

I want to apologize for myself and Tyler to anyone who is put off by this discussion.

 

What you have to understand is that waterfowlers can happily argue this minutia for hours at a time. When you're sitting in a blind, with icicles hanging from your lower lip, and sleet spitting on a north wind, and the birds ain't flying, and the coffee jug is empty, and even the Chesepeake wants nothing to do with the weather, well, what else can you do to keep amused?

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #22 of 32

To finish the topic off, I've read before that there is some dispute as to whether Snows fall into their own genus (Chen) or if they fall under the Anser genus with other grey geese. Some also say that Chen is a subgenus of Anser. However, I think none of this has anything whatsoever to do with cooking a goose. So back to the topic we go. My apologies to the innocent bystanders that have been subjected to my bantering about taxonomical oddities.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #23 of 32

So, bringing this back on track, I happened to come across this recipe. Obviously, I haven't tried it yet, but it sounds incredible. I mean, figs and specks, how could it be bad! The recipe came off of Cork Graham's outdoor webpage:

Specklebelly Goose with Fig Sauce

Fig Sauce Ingredients:

1 can chicken broth 

1 tsp Herb de Provence 

1 cup of sugar 

10 figs 

1 tsp salt 

2 cups of Pinot Noir

Steps:

1. Finely chop six figs and add to a saucepan. 

2. Save four figs and cut them lengthwise into sixths and set aside. 

3. Add all ingredients and bring to a fast boil, thicking the sauce through evaporation—about 25 minutes on high heat. Sauce should be the consistency of thin jam. 

4. Add the figs slices and simmer for another 10 minutes and set aside. 

Goose Ingredients:

1 Specklebelly goose 

1 large red onion 

1 tbsp Salt 

1 tbsp Black pepper 

1 tbsp Olive Oil 

Steps:

1. Brine the goose over night in a gallon of water with one cup each of sugar and kosher salt (use only ceramic or plastic containers so that there’s no reaction of the brine with metal). 

2. Drain the brine and pat away the excess moisture on the goose and place it back in the empty brining container 

3. Let is dry in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours. 

4. Place the red onion in the cavity and rub the goose skin olive oil and then the salt and black pepper. Truss the legs or simply stick in the open cavity under the tail. 

5. Place in a cast-iron skillet and place in an oven that has been preheated to 400-degree Fahrenheit. 

6. Roast for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees. 

7. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes and then carve, serving with a two cooked fig slices and sauce. 

8. Save the goose drippings and use to brown the potatoes. 

 

 
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #24 of 32

That sound really good. I will have to write that one down and hope for some specks come Christmas.

"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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"We make our food; thereafter, our food makes us." - Winston Churchill (with a slight modification)
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post #25 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KYHeirloomer View Post

 

If the were specks, of course, I'd have to advise XM that they are bad for you, and should be carefully wrapped, chilled, and overnighted to me for proper disposal. drinkbeer.gif

 

---------------------------------------------------------------

 

Pleased to know you're watching out for us - such altruism should not go unrewarded!

post #26 of 32

The taxonomical stuff is interesting, so please don't hold back on my account.

 

I'll see if I can post a pic of the flesh and then you can really have at it.

 

My dogs were circling me as I was removing the wrapper after defrosting it; my German Shep especially seemed to sense some primal nectar of the canus lupus ancestors was close at hand. I let her have the blood that had drained off so I expect she'll be baying at the moon tonight in appreciation. 

post #27 of 32

I've enjoyed sitting on the sidelines on this thread.  KYH and Tyler know their stuff when it comes to waterfowl  I took my grandson and son duck hunting four days in a row over the Thanksgiving hilidays, so I'm just now getting rested up enough to type a response. We also had a memorable duck dinner with the first mallard my grandson harvisted, along with a pintail and a teal.  It was a great weekend

 

In my opinion, you should treat wild goose breasts like beef, as KYH indicated.  Salt and pepper lightly, and broil or grill, basting with butter and red wine, and/or wrapped in bacon, and you will have a memorable meal.  It should not be cooked past rare to medium rare, and you will not be disappointed.  Cookid in this fashion, their is NO gamey taste that some people find to be undesirable.  This works equally well on snows, Canadas, and specks.  Sandhill cranes, aka known as the "ribeye in the sky", is also wonderful, grilled rare to medium rare.  I have used KYH's ginger sauce on grilled snow goose breasts, and they were outstanding.  Grilled duck or goose breasts are also good with a jezabel sauce.

 

The specklebelly with fig sauce looks wonderful.  I think I need to give that a try. I have tried a number of KYH recipes and have yet to be disappointed.

post #28 of 32

Not hedging my bets or anything, OldPro, but that's not my recipe, and I haven't tried it.

 

But it does sound good; which is why I posted it.

 

I was really glad to hear about your grandson. Isn't it great when you introduce a new generation to outdoor pursuits!

 

Reminds me of the last time I hunted with the folks at Third Coast. A guy came down with his son, who'd never hunted geese before. Kid was maybe 12.

 

We all but turned cartwheels trying to get him one. Then, just before we started to pick up for the day, in comes a pod of four, wings locked and feet pointing straight at us. The kid was practically quivering, but he paid attendtion to the guide and held tight until given the word. He popped up and, with his little twenty gauge, fired once and dropped one of them clean as a whistle.

 

A great way to end the day.

They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #29 of 32

A couple hours ago I was walking by a pond full of decoys and hunters in a mid-Atlantic state with snow on the ground.  One of them, a hunter, not a decoy, asked if I liked goose and handed me two.  

 

He showed me where the breastbone was and told me to peel the skin off.  I'd still be plucking goose down and feathers if he hadn't.  

 

The first goose  took a while as I attempted to peel around the legs, neck, butt, and wings.  Finally got out the hatchet and went to the black walnut stump.  On the second Canada Goose I started with the hatchet.  Much faster. A bit disconcerting as the second one kept honking while I pushed down on the body to cut the skin away.  Pulled all the guts out, washed, salted and stuck in the oven for 1.5 hours at 325 degrees F.  8 oz. of water in a roasting pan and aluminum foil on top to trap steam.  Very simple. Very delicious.
 

Don't.expect it to taste like chicken.  If I hadn't prepped and cooked the geese myself I'd swear I was looking at, smelling and eating lean roast beef.

Having been raised in the city and accustomed to the grocery freezer and McDonald's Drive-thru, putting food on the table for the family by butchering an animal while it's still warm (and making noises) feels... primordial.  Certainly, not a pleasant feeling,.. but it sure tastes good.

post #30 of 32

Have you had a mammogram?

 

(sorry)

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