It's time to start eating the Embden gander we parted up and put in the freezer last fall so I pulled out one of the breasts and the wings and got out my copy of Duck, Duck Goose. I wanted to try something completely new to me that wouldn't be too involved time-wise since I was cooking this on a Tuesday night.
I chose the Goose Breast with Orange-Ouzo Sauce. I hadn't cooked with fennel for years and this used the bulb, which I'd never done and also called for anise liquor, orange and thai peppers. Interesting.
Prep and go, people.
We are out of Thai peppers so I pulled a Jalapeno out of the freezer. We also live in the sticks so for the anise liquor I purchased a cheap bottle of Sambuca.
The breast is scored to release fat as it cooks - this is a good technique for duck as well. It also called for duck/goose stock so first thing in the morning I tossed a pair of goose wings into the crock pot along with celery, carrot, onion and bay to make the stock.
He shares a brilliant technique for crisping the skin - the breast is cooked skin side down the entire time. I spooned the fat off and into a jar as it was released from the skin. Goose/duck fat is heaven when added to anything. He has a recipe in the book for a duck fat pie crust which I haven't tried yet.
Bee stood like this and made her sad face. Didn't work.
Here it is, served with mashed potato:
Perfectly crisped skin, perfectly medium-rare. Directions in the book followed to the letter.
Oh my goodness. Remember when I said pickled eggs were the reason to keep quail? I will kill a goose each fall for no other reason but to make this recipe. It was pure heaven. This is one of those dishes that you would happily pay $40 a plate in a fancy restaurant to celebrate a special occasion and then not shut up about it to anyone who would listen. The sauce is absolutely amazing; sweet with the liquor and orange but hot with the pepper. The meat was delicious. My husband said it reminded him of well-aged venison and I thought it was a bit like quail. Like a wonderful, expensive indulgence.
The best part is that this happened in my kitchen, on a Tuesday evening, in under 45 minutes.
I think next up in the kitchen will be Cajun Dirty Rice with the duck, goose and quail giblets I've been hording. And when the ducks start laying I'll try his Salt Cured Egg Yolks; apparently you shave them over pasta once they're dried.
If you hunt, fish, forage, keep waterfowl or just love to cook please visit his wonderful website Hunter Angler Gardener. It's so beautiful and inspiring.