Wild Goose in Red Wine Gravy
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
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Serves: 4 to 6
  • 2 (4 to 5-pound) wild specklebelly geese, cleaned
  • 3 quarts apple juice
  • ½ cup sugarcane molasses
  • 1 cup salt
  • ½ cup black pepper
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle red wine
  • 6 strips smoked applewood bacon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup packed chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 8 cups dark chicken stock
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 4 tablespoons dark roux
  • 2 cups sliced andouille sausage
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons corn starch
  • 4 tablespoons cold water
  • 8 cups cooked long-grain white rice, for serving
  1. Rinse the inside cavity and the skin of the geese thoroughly with cold water. Inspect each goose carefully and with a pair of pliers remove any feathers remaining. If the head is still on the goose, remove it.
  2. Make a brine by adding the apple juice, molasses, salt, and pepper to a large pot over high heat. Bring to a boil and continue cooking until the salt dissolves, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  3. In a large container, add the two geese and pour over the brine. If not totally cool, add some ice to cool it down. Add enough water just to cover the geese (you might need to weigh down the geese since they tend to float). Place in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Remove the geese from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. With a butcher’s knife or heavy-duty kitchen shears, cut each goose into 6 or 8 pieces.
  5. In a medium saucepan over high heat, empty the bottle of red wine and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and continue cooking the wine at a rolling boil until the alcohol cooks off and it reduces by half, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and pour off 1 cup of the wine for later, and reserve the remaining reduced wine for other cooking uses.
  6. In a large cast-iron pot or Dutch oven with a heavy lid over medium-high heat, add the bacon strips and cook until the fat renders and the bacon begins to crisp, about 10 minutes. Remove the bacon, chop into pieces and reserve for later.
  7. Add the geese skin-side down to the hot bacon grease and brown, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove the meat to a platter.
  8. Add the onion, celery, and bell pepper to the grease and cook until the onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary, parsley, and Cajun seasoning, and cook for another 3 minutes.
  9. Add the stock, apple juice, 1 cup of the reduced red wine, and the roux. Bring to a boil and stir to combine. Lower the heat to a simmer and add the geese back to the pot along with the andouille, chopped bacon, and bay leaves. Make sure the pieces of geese are mostly immersed in the liquid to ensure even cooking (add more chicken stock if necessary). Cover the pot and cook until the meat is tender, about 2 hours. Uncover and stir the pot every half hour and skim the grease from the surface.
  10. Turn off the heat, remove the bay leaves, taste the gravy, and season with salt and pepper to your taste. The gravy should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If needed, make a slurry with cornstarch and cold water, and add it to the pot (bring it to a boil) to thicken.
  11. Serve the goose and gravy over steamed white rice, and serve with the biggest, boldest Cabernet you have.
Don’t break the bank: You can use a cheap red wine for this recipe since you are reducing it down. You won’t use all the red wine reduction in this dish, so save the rest in a squeeze bottle next to your stovetop (it’s great to deglaze a pan with a squirt of reduced red wine to make a quick pan gravy). Domestic goose will work in this recipe, but understand that there is much more fat to trim, render, and degrease from the dish before serving. Prep time does not include brining. Making a Cajun roux is simple: Equal parts all-purpose flour and vegetable oil stirred over medium heat until it turns dark brown; purchasing a jar of commercial dark roux is acceptable, as well.
Recipe by Acadiana Table at https://www.acadianatable.com/wild-goose-red-wine-gravy/