In terms of flavor, the Canada goose is definitely the most undeservedly criticized of wild birds. While I’ll concede a portion of its unsavory reputation is owed to its diet, which is often dependent on its environment, it’s my firm belief that this bird is simply prepared and cooked incorrectly more often than not.
For starters, I’d never recommend roasting a whole Canada goose. This goose should be butchered and its sections cooked differently. Its harder working parts, like its legs and wings, require low-and-slow cooking techniques to break down tough muscles, but the breasts are delicious medium-rare when prepared properly.
Because waterfowl skin is the bacon of wild birds, I always pluck any duck or goose I am going to pan sear. I recommend you do the same. I often dry pluck my ducks and geese. It takes just a few minutes more to pull out a goose’s breast feathers prior to breasting out. Don’t worry about plucking all those thin, stray hairs—they’ll burn off easily in the pan and you’ll never know they were there.
I brine all my wild birds, and it makes a world of difference. A good brine infuses the bird with flavor but also makes certain it retains moisture while cooking, so it’s guaranteed to be tastier AND juicier. A brine will also help remove any excess blood and “gamey” flavors.
*If you like this recipe, you should try our viral Al Capone Venison Roast!*
Cooking TimePreparation: Overnight, Cooking: 15 minutes
- 2 breasts from a Canadian goose, plucked
- 1 gallon cold water
- 1/2 cup non-iodized salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 10 oz. fresh ginger, crushed
- 1/2 cup black pepper corns
- 1/2 large bulb of garlic, cloves peeled & smashed
- Orange slices (optional garnish)
- Fill a large pot or container with gallon of cold water. Stir in salt and sugar until completely dissolved.
- Add ginger, black pepper corns, and garlic and stir. Brine goose in refrigerator overnight, or for a full 24 hours if possible.
- THOROUGHLY RINSE brine from goose, making certain to remove any ingredients stuck to meat. Pat dry.
- Layer napkins over skin of breast to absorb moisture and allow meat to come to room temp.
Cooking (Approximately 15 minutes):
- Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Add goose breasts, skin down, to a cold cast-iron pan.
- Turn on burner below pan to medium-high. Brown the breast’s skin side and flip once golden.
- Thoroughly sear other side then place in oven. Roast in oven until internal temperature reaches 125 then remove (approximately 5 to 10 minutes).
- Place breasts on plate and cover with aluminum foil. Let it rest for 10 minutes prior to serving. If desired, garnish with orange slices.