Snow geese get a terrible rap from most hunters. They have distasteful nicknames, are often scorned as potential table fare, and garner little respect for what they have to offer. The truth is, snow geese are providing hunters with more opportunity than ever before. Liberalized seasons and limits, conservation hunts and burgeoning populations provide hunters with the ultimate challenge and prospects for filling a freezer with tasty protein.
Never having seen a recipe for a plucked and cooked snow goose, I set out to see what I could do with an adult snow to impress friends at the table. To say it was a hit would be an understatement. The bird was extremely tender, had tremendous flavor—partially due to having the skin and fat for cooking—and was big enough to feed four with large portions.
Some of the surprises included the amount of light-colored meat. The goose tenders and portions off the back were almost as white as a domestic turkey, with outstanding flavor. If you’ve been talking smack about snow geese, its time you changed your attitude. If you aren’t a believer, here is a recipe challenge.
Snow geese have dark skin as a means of transferring and holding heat. When in the north, their white feathers transmit the sun’s energy to their skin, just like a polar bear. The dark skin isn’t always appealing on the table, so I added beets to the recipe to enhance the natural color and flavor, which worked out grand.
• 3-4 raw beets, quartered
• 1 large yellow onion, sliced
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 2 teaspoons black pepper
• 4 large cloves garlic, crushed
• 1 snow goose, dressed (any wild goose will work)
1. Place snow goose breast down in a crockpot or slow cooker. Weston makes a 5, 7, and 8-quart slow cooker that can easily handle a large bird.
2. Add beets, onion, salt, pepper, and garlic, evenly spaced around the goose.
3. Pour enough water into the crockpot to cover the goose.
4. Set on high for six hours for young birds and up to eight hours for adult geese.
5. Carefully remove the goose from the vessel to slice and present on a plate. The goose is often so tender it is difficult to get out in one piece.
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