Waterfowl hunting is a great pastime in the winter. After all the big game hunting has ended I truly enjoy my mornings on the water with my Labrador Brodie. I know I am not alone either, as many people across the United States hit the flyways in the hopes of dropping some birds out of the sky. When it comes to the validity of geese as table fare, there is varying opinions. Some love them, others find it is best utilized as dog food. Typically the favored part is the breast meat, for good reason, it is tasty and a high yield for the size of bird. Though I often feel that they are under appreciated, especially the legs and wings.
Like all consumed fowl including; turkey, quail, pheasant, or pekin duck, geese have three main muscle groups. The breast, the wings, and the legs. More often than not, a pile of birds will end up with the breasts skinned and cut out, with the legs and wings left to rot in a pile of feathers. It is a shame because these are amazing cuts of meat, but they do require a bit of special treatment. My goal here is to dispel the myth that the legs and thighs of waterfowl are inedible. They are not chicken wings, as they cannot be treated as such. They are tasty in their own right, and are worth the extra work to pull all that meat out.
This recipe will work on any waterfowl, it is scaled for just the two legs and two thighs. Though you could add the two breasts instead, or add it all together to do a whole bird (in pieces). Just make sure to double or triple the recipe for the amount of meat. 1 whole goose/ 3 ducks would double the recipe. I just had the legs and wings from a goose I unthawed and built the recipe on that.
The great thing about this recipe is it could be a base to build other recipes on. Confit is simply a technique of gently cooking in fat for an extended period of time. While I did use a sous vide machine to sous vide to confit, the traditional method can be done in an oven. There is a lot of web info on confit, usually being filling a loaf pan with meat and covering the meat in rendered bacon grease. Then cooking in a low (200* or less) oven for 12+ hours. Which I have done and it would work just as well for this recipe. You may have to do some research and play with amounts of grease to use in place of the butter. This technique makes a very tender and moist meat very similar to a pulled pork. So feel free to put in sandwiches, BBQ, enchiladas, pizza, nachos. Anything you could dream to do will pulled meat will work, just adjust your spices accordingly.
- 2 goose legs and 2 wings (1 Lg. duck, or 4 goose legs)
- 1 stick of butter
- 1/2 t salt
- 1/2 t pepper
- 1/4 t cumin
- 1/4 t garlic powder
- 1/4 t onion powder
- 1/2 t paprika
- Tortilla of choice
- Taco toppings of choice
Place the wings and legs into a large zipper top bag with the whole stick of butter. Set the sous vide bath to 167* and place the bag in for 16 hrs. ( patience young grasshopper)
At the 16 hr mark simply take the meat out from the bath, and pull it like pork.
Oil a skillet and put on a Med-high burner. Simply add the meat and the seasonings and cook until the meat is slightly browned.
Gather your favorite taco fixings and serve with a nice Mexican lager.