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29 responses to “Cooking My Goose”

  1. Steve

    Brilliant idea! I can’t wait to try the neck sausage idea. That is just great. Thanks.

  2. Mike at The Big Stick

    WOW! Fantastic post! I’m excited about some of these recipes. We get the Giant Canadas down here in KY and I routinely shoot birds near the 20 lb mark. Put a lot of them in the freezer last year and plan to do more of the same this year. These will come in handy.

  3. E. Nassar

    Hank! What a beautiful looking dish AND Sous Vide! You cannot just gloss over that part. What did you buy? Sous Vide Supreme? Or the PolyScience one?

  4. Karen

    The breasts look wonderful with the pears, but that neck sausage and mortadella are calling my name!

  5. Heather

    Look at that fancy light box light! That time of year again, innit.

    I’m gurgling my own spit over the neck and mortadella. And thank you for the bitch-slap on “Canadian” goose. Drives me crazy, too.

  6. A Long Time in China

    Got something against Canadians – geese or otherwise? Although it’s a stretch, we don’t go calling Californians or Alaskans or New Yorkers California Humans or Alaska Humans or New York Humans… hehehehe

  7. Sandy

    LoL. A baseball bat? Hank, you have a morbid sense of humor.

    As for Central Park geese, I once heard (it could be urban legend) that one mayor of New York proposed a recipe pamphlet to help New Yorkers help themselves in ridding the city of its pigeon and rat infestations. I suppose if city-fed rat (both flying and crawling) could be on a menu, a goose can’t be too far behind.

    I was curious though, is it safe to eat aged meat rare, even if you aged in a semi-cold environment? Isn’t there a concern from bacterial buildup, especially if you age for 3 days or longer? I read your post on hanging pheasants, but I don’t believe you mentioned eating anything rare.

    Lastly, I understood your explaination of the name, but it’s going to be hard for me not to call them Canadian goose/geese. It’s like saying Germany Sheperd or Tasmania Devil (Netherland apple pie anyone?). You just want to turn it into an adjective so badly. Hell, I’ll probably still do it, improper though it may be. I’ll just try to refrain on your site. 🙂

  8. homegrown countrygirl

    Thank you! Thank you! For setting the world straight on the wrong-ness of calling them “canadian” geese. That irks me so much I can’t stand it! Unfortunately, I’ll bet that most people coming to your site (and reading your glorious writing) already know that they are “canada geese.” Wish you could reach the whole rest of the world, too.

  9. Sara

    Hi!!! I recently found your blog and I’ve gotta tell you I just LOVE IT!!! and this kind of posts are so useful, please keep them going. Btw thank’s for the sausage idea, I must try this.

  10. NJLiberty

    I’ve cleaned a lot of Canada Geese and they smell from the moment you open the skin. Usually we just breast them out, rather than going through the arduous process of plucking or waxing them, though after reading this I may have to try stuffing a goose neck.

    And for the record, I wouldn’t eat anything found living in Central Park. Now the pretzels and dirty water hot dogs…that’s another story.

  11. Shotgunner

    For sous vide I use a crock pot hooked to a thermostat. I put the probe right into the water. Ghetto fo’ sho’, but it works!

  12. Matt

    The article is great timing Hank. I just went to Rochester, MN where the largest flock of Branta Canadensis Maxima (Giant Canada) is located in North America. I shot one that was close to 16 pounds. Wow…..did that goose made a thud when it hit the ground! I have 8 legs that I am going to sous vide this weekend.

  13. Diana

    My husband has several ‘canada’ geese in the freezer and was tole that a cure will make wild goose more tender – specirfically Sure Cure. Found the product but unfortunately no instructions included. Can you tell me how to cure a wild goose breast?

  14. Jimi

    Awesome post. I have just gone goose hunting for the first time in 8 years. Great day came home with 4 Canada geese. One weighing in at 17 lbs. Now I must try making 4 neck sausages.
    One question, Is it a good method to cook a whole Canada goose on a rotisserie? I know you can roast them and it works well.
    Thanks for the great recipes

  15. Minna swann

    I was given my first goose last week… I grew up on a farm and know how to slaughter and hang, but I’m not sure what the goose meat should smell like when all done. (My mom hates waterfowl, I hadn’t even had duck till I was in college). We hung our Canada goose for 6 days and when we broke it down, my poor husband was retching and puking most of the way through. After breaking it down yesterday I washed and refrigerated it since I was planning on cooking it today, but it still has a funky smell to me… So I am wondering if it is just the gaminess and its normal, or I hung it too long and it needs to be tossed? Any thoughts?

  16. Skip Sanderson


    I can’t agree with you about hanging geese just three days. I hunt on the Eastern shore of Maryland and we kill a few geese. I hang all of my geese for a week, then I breast them out and keep them in the fridge for another 3, 4 days or a week before freezing them. I have never had a bad goose breast. I marinate them in salad dressing or sprinkle them with Montreal Steak seasoning and grill them. I try not to get much past medium rare so as if I want to reheat the leftovers in the microwave, they aren’t over cooked. I enjoy just slicing a piece of cold goose breast off and eating it cold.

    Stir fried goose breast in soy or Worchester sauce is great too.

    I am preparing at this minute to make a goose soup…that is why I am here. Problem is finding a goose stock. In the past, and probably today, I use Mrs. Grass soup mix with a beef stock…comes out pretty good.

    Any ideas for the goose stock?

  17. Skip Sanderson

    Dry plucking is really not all of that bad if you can stand the down up your nose. When we do it, we remove the feathers first then go for the down. We once made the mistake of using the wife’s fan to suck the floating down out of the garage…big mistake, plucking the fan was worse than plucking the goose. Once the down is off we used a propane torch to make for a perfect skin.

  18. C Moisei

    Well, cleaning 2 took me like 2+ hours. They were the 18lbs kind, HUGE.

    I just smoked one and I felt it was a bit tough, I did not age them at all and I have the feeling it was a mistake not too since I did marinade them for almost 5 days!

    I am glad I found our site, keep up the good work and Merry Christmas!

  19. C Moisei

    Re: Canada neck cleanup

    I tried, I tried a lot! but I gave up – do you have a special technique to cleanup the necks ? the necks has tiny, little feathers, and they seem to be impossible to pluck dry, did you share your technique on the neck plucking ?

  20. Tony

    Wow! I stumbled upon your site while searching goose recipes. Thank you for such a resource. Very important information for those that appreciate the earth’s natural bounty. Cheers!

  21. Why does the campfire smoke follow me? (and other burning questions…) | crazy4camping

    […] Because it seems like they have all moved here.  This is not just an observation from camping, but observations from anywhere we go.  Those honkers are EVERYWHERE.  And if they are not there at the current moment…you know they HAVE been because they have left piles of their stinky green and black droppings.  I love animals, and particularly love photographing birds.  But I have really become annoyed with these foul fowl.  According to the Ohio DNR  ”In just a few years, a pair of geese can easily become 50 to 100 birds.  The feces will foul the areas around the pond and surrounding yards and also damage the lawn, pond, and other vegetation.”  No wonder they are everywhere.  Apparently you can hunt for them during certain seasons…but I don’t see many recipes out there.  If you would like to do your part to rid the world of them one bite at a time be sure to check out Hank’s website: […]

  22. Joyce

    I saw the a la ficelle cooking method in action years ago at Old Sturbridge Village. A reenactor in one of the houses was roasting a whole turkey. She had a small fire going in a huge hearth, with the turkey suspended from a string over a pan. She’d twist the string every so often, and the turkey would twirl around in front of the fire. It looked really good, and very easy to do (assuming you happen to have one of those big hearths).

  23. Dean

    Does the shot not cause issues when aging?

  24. John

    Ok I just got back from a remote backpacking trip in the Sierra and I shot a Canada goose it wasn’t a huge one so we just harvested the breasts and pan fried them. Tasted like a used bandaid soaked in a fishy swamp. Is this due the goose’s diet or not aging it all? BTW it was head shot with a .22 and then allowed to bleed out.

  25. Meat from euthanized geese now on menu at DC homeless shelters | Washington Informer

    […] will sear the goose breast meat, and serve it with poached pears as author Hank Shaw suggested in a 2010 recipe. Shaw also noted that the neck of a big Canada goose can be stuffed with ground goose meat and […]

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