Often times I hear people complain about how tough goose meat is and that they’ll only eat it after hours of stewing in a crock pot. I too like slow cooked meat, who doesn’t, but if you are one of those people you should give this a go.
We eat so much fowl at my house that, outside of the occasional steak night out on the town, it is our only source of red meat. My trick to getting a goose breast to turn out tender and juicy is to salt it overnight, or even simpler, salt it before you freeze it and it is ready to cook by the time it thaws out. I salt just about everything before I vacuum seal it, not only because it saves so much time but because it makes everything better.
The spices in the sauce are somewhat unexpected, but they naturally pair really well with the sweetness of the roasted apples and the flavor of wild goose. The fried sage leaves add an interesting herbal crunch. You can serve the leaves whole, or you can crunch them up and sprinkle them over the dish like a garnish. Frying sage leaves are pretty easy to do and it doesn’t take very long or very much oil. In fact, you only need enough oil to coat the bottom of a small saute pan (a few tablespoons) and it literally only takes a few seconds to fry once your oil is hot. If you haven’t ever tried to do this before, make sure you have a handful of fresh sage, you might burn the first batch or two before you get the hang of it! For a full tutorial on how to fry sage leaves check out Saveur’s post here.
I know you may be tempted to skip the fried sage, but trust me, its worth doing it! The pan I used to fry the sage was the same pan used for searing the goose breasts, so you don’t have to dirty an extra pan and you can use the same oil (unless it is burnt).
I decided to use a separate pan for the sauce as it did take a little bit of time to reduce down to the desired richness. You can let the sauce simmer on the stove top while the apples are roasting in the oven. The dish will come together at the end after you’ve strained the sauce and it is nearly finished. After that all you have left to do is pan roast the goose breasts, pop open a bottle of vino and enjoy!
- 2 Goose Breasts (Greater Canada) or 4 Snow Goose/Large Duck
- 2 Large Honey Crisp Apples
- 1 Small Shallot
- ¼ C. Calvados (Apple Liquor)
- 1 & 1/2C. Chicken Stock
- ⅛ t. each of dried & ground Cinnamon and Clove
- ¼ t. dried Sage
- Pat of Butter/Ghee
- Salt & Pepper
- Oil for Cooking
- Fried Sage for Garnish
- Preheat oven to 350.
- If you are using a greater Canada goose, slice one of the breast in half for two servings. One end will be significantly thicker than the other so its best to pound it out to even out the thickness. If you haven't pre-salted your goose, season the meat liberally with Salt and Pepper and let it sit at room temperature until ready to cook.
- Core the apples and drizzle enough oil over to coat. Place in a baking dish and roast in the oven for about 30 - 45 minutes, until tender but not too mushy.
- While the apples are roasting, begin to make the sauce. Preheat a sauce pan at medium/med-high and add a tablespoon of oil to the pan. Add the shallots and brown, stirring only occasionally. Deglaze the pan with the Calvados, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. The pan should be pretty hot at this point so let the alcohol in the calvados burn off for a few seconds and then add the stock, cinnamon, cloves and dried sage. Reduce the heat to medium/low and let the sauce gently simmer.
- Allow the sauce to cook down for about 20 minutes or so, until it begins to reduce to about half. At this point you can begin tasting to see how much longer it needs to reduce.
- Once your sauce is ready, use a fine mesh strainer to strain the shallots from the sauce into a large bowl. Discard the shallots and pour the strained liquids back into the saute pan and add a pat of ghee or butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. It should be significantly reduced into a rich and flavorful sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.
- While the sauce is reducing and the apples are roasting, heat a large saute pan over high heat. *If you chose to fry sage you can use the same pan and same oil as long as it is not burnt. If not, add a tablespoon of oil and once hot, add the goose breast. Allow it to sear, undisturbed for about 3-4 minutes on each side. Transfer the meat to a sheet pan and place in the hot oven to finish cooking. *If you have an oven proof saute pan you can transfer the whole pan into the oven after flipping instead of placing on a sheet pan.
- For medium rare, remove the goose after about 8 minutes and let it rest on a cutting board under foil to allow the juices to flow back into the meat and until all the other components to the dish are finished.
- To serve, slice the roasted apples into thick wedges and plate with the goose, sauce and fried sage.