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Canada goose recipes

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  • Chappie Dec 3, 2002 05:50 PM
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I have two Canada geese in the freezer, and I'm looking for good roasting recipes for Christmas party table-food. I had a honey-glazed wood duck years ago that was unbelievable, and was thinking some sort of sweet, honey-based glaze would help the goose's flavor. Any ideas?

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  1. Are you referring to those pests that populate industrial office park lawns? The ones that forgot how to migrate and pester us in New Jersey all year long pooping everywhere? Are the even edible? I assumed not because there's such an overabundance of them that if they were certainly someone would have made a business out of killing, dressing and selling them by now. I think maybe larding and slow roasting would be the best way to go but I'm no expert.

    3 Replies
    1. re: christina z

      LOL! You just never know what'll p*ss off a Jersey girl.

      1. re: christina z

        Yep, them's the ones.

        Golf course operators would happily kill them even if they weren't edible. The reason there are no widespread goose massacres is that (some) migratory bird species are protected by international conventions, the Canada goose among them, because some of the geese do in fact go to Canada for the summer. That and the fact that some of the more excitable folks out there would be disturbed at the notion of people discharging shotguns in industrial office parks.

        1. re: Bruce H.

          Shotguns? A baseball bat should do very well. Canada Geese in the UK are not shy of humans. Rather, they are aggressive and attack pedestrians along the river walks. In the name of self defence one or two might easily be garnered for the cooking pot.

      2. Can't speak (type?) to the honey glaze idea, but a wild goose is the only wild game that comes with plenty of fat already on it so don't add any extra. I generally stuff the cavity with quartered apples, oranges and onions to smooth out the gamey flavor (though the non-migratory geese talked about in the other posts are milder). A clove of garlic and a stalk of celery wouldn't hurt and adding some wine to the pan is good too. Wild rice is the perfect starch for goose or duck.

        If you are anywhere close to Western WI, Louie's meats in Cumberland will smoke a fresh goose (won't do you any good now) for a dollar a pound. It is sooo good.

        1. If you are talking about WILD, MIGRATORY Canadian geese, I think I can help a bit. I "harvest" more than a few every year, and have more than a little experience cooking them.

          First, I would ask if you've ever had them before. Wild geese have virtually nothing in common with their domestic counter-parts. They are still quite gamey tasting, and they have absolutely NO fat on them (they've just flown thousands of miles) so the meat is very lean, dense and tough. Meat is basically isolated to the breast, as the legs are too sinewy and small to contribute much. Many people do not find the taste or consistency appealing.

          The fact is, they do not lend themselves to roasting. The heat dries them out very quickly, and due to a lack of fat, they do not brown up attractively. They are also difficult to carve. If you must keep them whole, I've found the best way is to do them in a Reynolds' Baking Bag. Add some herbs, s & p, some citrus, and some aromatics, and rub well with butter. And most important, remove from the oven while the meat is still MEDIUM RARE. If you cook it through, it will be inedible.

          A better method is to de-breast the birds. Marinate the cubed breast meat in red wine and herbs for two days, then use the meat in a beef bourguignon or coq au vin recipe. I've had fabulous success with this.

          Another good method is to smoke the whole breast, or even just grill them slowly over indirect heat. Let them cool to room temp and slice as thinly as possible. Serve on a buffet or as a starter with your favorite brand of Hunt/Game Sauce. This way, people who might not appreciate the "unique" taste haven't had it served to them as a main course.

          Sorry, if you're birds are WILD and MIGRATORY, then please disregard all the above.

          9 Replies
          1. re: Pappy

            Were do you shoot your birds? I've taken my fair share out of WI and Canada and they all have a thick layer of fat on the breast and they can be a bit greasy for some people. I always roast them and sometimes need to prick the breast (though they are skinny marathon runners compared to domestic geese). I was just wondering if perhaps you shoot down south and they've worked it all off by then?

            1. re: muD

              That may be the difference. I shoot on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. That is quite a bit further along the migration route.

              Interesting that the birds would be so different. You'd never find fat on a goose down here.

              1. re: Pappy

                Yeah, I get them before they really start the migration. My ducks can sometimes be fatty, but usually drying out is the problem.

                Do you get the greater or lesser Canadas? I haven't seen a lesser since my dad shot one over a decade ago. That may be a difference too.

                1. re: muD

                  While my Bird Book is at home, I was under the impression the there were sort of three classes. We shoot almost exlusively the "middle" variety which is technically neither a "greater" nor a "lesser." Slighty in land, we are more likely to get a "greater." It is far a few between that we see a "lesser," or what we call a "cackling" goose in these parts.

                  And to modify my migratory hypothesis a bit, I do have to say that birds do begin to put on some fat later in the season, after they've had time to gorge themselves with corn, sorgham and winter wheat. So it may just be all that excercise that thins them out.

                  1. re: Pappy

                    Well Western WI is certainly inland and all we see are those giants of the sky which seem to grow fat flying from one safe spot to the next. Its been a long time since I looked up Canada Goose in a good book so you could be right on the classifications.

                    I recall some survey that said WI was the heaviest state in the union, perhaps that includes more then just the people.

                    Hope you had good hunting this year, our waterfowl was pretty much done by Halloween this year. West Central WI is devoid of ducks in the fall (maybe the geese are eating them) and ND froze up pretty solid by the time we got there so we didn't do too well. That's what next year's for though.

                    1. re: muD

                      Actually, our hunting season is really just getting started here. We're enjoying our first blast of cold air (20-30*) and our first snow fall (VERY early for us.) The wild birds will just now be filling up our rivers and marshes.

                      We'll primarily be out there for ducks, mallards and blacks, for which our limit is 5. A moratorium on geese has just been lifted, and for now, the limit is 1 per day.

                      Enjoyed learning a few things. Thanks for the responses.

                      1. re: Pappy

                        Thanks, I did too. Nothing like watching the sun rise over a marsh. Shoot straight and enjoy those ducks.

            2. re: Pappy

              Canada geese still migrate? The one's in my neighborhood, the northern suburbs of NYC, have taken up permanent residence on any larger than normal patch of grass, and are fattening up nicely.

              Even though my yard is pretty large I do not have Canada geese. Perhaps the dozen or so wild turkeys that have taken up residence keep them away.

              1. re: Deven Black

                Unlike the geese which have no redeeming qualities as neighbors the turkeys should be insect raptors in the summer. Guess you have the entree for the holiday's covered. I'm assuming the NYC suburbs have insects.

            3. You might be interested to know that a Canada goose is best when approached in the French fashion of cooking domestic duck: RARE. They will not dry out and will taste like the best fillet mignon you've ever eaten. I have cooked a few.

              Salt and pepper the breast (the best part, and really the only part that is fully edible). You might want to sprinkle it with a little thyme. Roast at about 450 deg. for the first 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350. It's done when your meat thermometer (inserted between a leg and the breast) reads RARE - 140-150 degrees.