Sunday, January 13, 2013

Oh Canada !!!!

Can't you just hear the music?? Reminds me of the Olympics....well, anyway, in this case I am not talking about our Neighbor to the North nor the Olympics but rather the big beautiful bird, the Canada goose, who is a nuisance to so many of us (have you ever seen the bird poo mess they leave behind ??) and a delicacy to others.

photo courtesy of Rich Fletcher's Good Food and Photography

The Chef and I have been looking forward to getting back in the kitchen and back to cooking. Well, he is in the kitchen almost every night but that's to pay the bills, not to have fun. We haven't done any fun blog cooking in months, with the holidays and crazy schedules.... Since we have a freezer full of goose we figured it was time to give  it a whirl and see what we came up with. Chef took the day off so I attempted to create a succulent Roast Breast of Goose with Bacon and Red Wine Reduction. We'll see how this goes.......

Although I grew up eating game birds all the time I haven't had the opportunity to cook them other than whole roast duck or goose(except my attempt at duck confit). A lot of research was done, cookbooks consulted, hunters' advice regarded and disregarded and I decided to go with my imagination and see what happens.......

Having heard from so many people that overcooking makes goose taste like liver, and other say that's not so, and neither of us real familiar with goose BREAST we just decided to cook it more on the fully cooked side and less rare and bloody, which the Chef is not a fan of anyway.

My other challenge was DRYNESS. Every cook familiar with fowl knows the fat layer is under the skin and since the skin and fat layer had been removed, I had some extremely lean meat to work with. With adding the broth/wine and layering bacon on top, I'm hoping to replace some of the moisture in the meat and keep it from becoming goose jerky.


3 goose breasts (we had Canada goose, boneless with the skin removed)
1 small onion
6 cloves of garlic
salt and pepper
Asian Five Spice seasoning
vegetable oil
1-2 cups chicken stock, wine (red or white) or combo

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Thoroughly rinse and pat dry duck. (I thawed the goose breasts in a brine-like salt water solution) Season with five spice powder, salt and pepper and set aside.

Peel and halve onion, slice crosswise, separate into half rings. Slice garlic cloves.

Pour a couple tablespoons of oil (any kind will do, veg, olive or even, if you have it and want to splurge, melted duck fat !!) into a 9 inch square baking dish, sprinkle in the onions and garlic.

Set the goose breasts atop the vegetables. Cut bacon slices in half crosswise and cover breasts with bacon to completely cover but don't overlap if you can help it. Pour the broth/wine around the breasts.  Place dish, covered, into oven. Roast at 375 degrees about 20 minutes, then reduce to 325 and roast for about and hour to ninety minutes. Remove and check for temp (some people like goose rare, some fully cooked like you would poultry. 165 degrees is the safe MINIMUM temperature,so roast according to your preference.) Remove cover and briefly run under the broiler to crisp up the bacon.

Remove from oven and allow to rest about ten minutes. Slice across the grain and serve. I made a rice pilaf and simply cooked green beans to go with ours. I placed slices of the goose on the plate and drizzled with Red Wine Reduction.


1 cup red wine or port (I wanted to use port but didn't have any, didn't want a whole bottle so I bought a single Cabernet)
6 juniper berries
6 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf

Combine ingredients in small saucepan, bring to boil and reduce to syrupy. You will not have much in the pan but you don't NEED much for big flavor impact.

Now the verdict:  The goose came out with a texture, and incredibly, a flavor a lot like roast beef ! My brain is already working and thinking about how to cook the next batch we thaw !!

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