I have done this recipe with all kinds of wild or store-bought ducks and geese, but I prefer it with the legs from specklebelly geese, which is what I used in these pictures. I also prefer to use skin-on legs, because the skin adds a lot of flavor. If you keep the browned skin up out of the braising liquid, it will stay pretty crispy. But if you want to take things to another level of crispiness, cook this braise in a 300°F oven until the meat is tender, then jack up the heat to 400°F and remove the lid for the last 15 minutes to get the skin extra crispy.
2smoked sausages,such as kielbasa or red bratwurst
Freshly chopped chives for garnish
Heat the duck fat in a large, lidded pot like a Dutch oven set over medium-high heat. Brown the duck or goose legs well, especially on the skin side. Salt the legs as they are cooking. Once each leg browns well, remove it to a plate for now. The whole process may take 10 to 15 minutes.
When the duck has all been browned, add the onion, cabbage and carrot and saute until the vegetables get just a little browning on the edges, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add the sauerkraut, wine, stock, herbs and spices. (Leave out the sausages for now.)
Nestle the duck or goose legs into the kraut mixture and baste with a little of the liquid. Cover the pot and simmer very gently over low heat until the meat yields easily to the tip of a knife. How long? Anywhere from about 90 minutes for store-bought ducks to 3 1/2 hours for an old goose.
About 15 minutes before you think the goose or duck legs will be done -- you need not be precise, as the legs are pretty forgiving in terms of overcooking them -- slice the sausages and nestle them into the pot, too. Cover and heat through. You don't want to cook the sausages too long or all the fat will drain out and they will be dry and unpleasant.
When you're ready to serve, add salt to taste and sprinkle the chives over the dish. Serve with good rye bread, potatoes in some form (mashed, boiled, roasted, etc) or with dumplings. I particularly like the bread dumplings in my venison roast recipe.
I always use either homemade sauerkraut or the refrigerated kind; it tastes better than the pressure-canned, shelf stable kraut. Juniper berries are easily available in larger supermarkets, on nearby bushes, or you can buy them online.