Some people in the hunting world like to dump on Canada Goose meat. Call it contempt for the commonplace, or maybe they’ve just had poorly-prepared meals, but I am a staunch apologist, nay a champion, for the bird as table fare. I love Canada Goose meat, and I’m not too ashamed to admit it anymore. Properly-cooked Canada Goose (and I can’t overstate that term enough) is great. Improperly-cooked Canada Goose is a crime.
When it is done correctly and simply (spoiler alert: it isn’t that hard) it eats like a good cut of beef, and our favourite way to cook goose breasts is to treat them just like a steak and do them on a good, hot grill.
Of note is that the heat and times I mentioned below work for my grill on room-temperature goose breasts of average size. Over years of doing this I know that these temperatures and times will give me rare to medium-rare meat, which is how I like it. If you’ve shot a huge goose, you may want things to be on the grill a bit longer, if you’ve got a bunch of smaller juvies, lessers, or cacklers, then shorten up the time.
IT IS COMPLETELY OKAY TO EAT GOOSE BREASTS MEDIUM-RARE.
I cannot stress this enough; if you cook a goose breast to anything past MEDIUM (i.e. no longer warm and still a little pink, but brown-grey throughout) you are probably not going to enjoy the experience as things get chewy and grainy and dry. I am of the belief that medium-well and well-done goose breasts have contributed to more people labelling Canada Geese as ‘trash’ than anything else.
When I make this, I treat it like a nice steak. With red wine, asparagus, and a salad as a dinner, or served cold on toast with tomatoes and a fried egg the next morning, grilled Canada Goose should be in your recipe book.
- 2 (roughly 1.5lbs total) skinless goose breasts
- ½ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp Tabasco sauce
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp crushed garlic
- Whisk all ingredients together and pour over the goose breasts. These measurements make enough to ‘cover’ two breasts in an 11 x 7 x 1.5 inch glass casserole dish. Scale these measurements up or down depending on how much goose you are grilling.
- Let the breasts soak for anywhere from 6 to 24 hours.
- Heat your grill to a high temperature (mine was holding between 550 and 600 degrees Fahrenheit throughout cooking).
- Remove the breasts and let most of the marinade drain off, but do not pat them dry.
- Place the goose breasts on the grill and close the lid. After 3 ½ minutes, give the breasts a quarter turn, but do not turn them over*. After 3 ½ more minutes, turn the breasts over. After 3 minutes give them another quarter turn. After three more minutes, remove them to a plate or a rack.
- Let the goose rest uncovered for 5-10 minutes. Slice the meat into strips across the grain and serve warm as you would a steak.
*I like to do this because it makes nice cross-hatch grill marks. If you do not care for this, then do not make the quarter turns and just do 7 minutes on one side, then flip the breasts and do 6 minutes on the other. If you are unsure of how “done” they are there’s no shame in giving them a quick slice and deciding if they need more time to reach your desired level of cooking.