If you're intimidated by cooking a wild goose, using a slow cooker can make the process simpler. Wild goose meat tends to be lean and tough, but a slow cooker gives the meat time to absorb seasonings while helping it retain moisture and flavor. A smaller goose can be cooked whole in a slow cooker, but with larger birds, it's best to use just the breast meat. Whether you're using fresh meat or frozen, a slow cooker is a simple, labor-saving way to serve up a delicious goose dinner.
Dissolve a small amount of salt in cold water in a glass, plastic or ceramic bowl. Place the goose breasts in the water and knead the meat to remove any remaining blood, feathers or shot pellets. If necessary, remove remaining pellets with a small knife or a pair of sterile tweezers, and pluck stray pin feathers or hairs.
Rinse the goose meat and bowl, then return the goose to the bowl with fresh water and more salt. Set the bowl in the refrigerator to brine the meat for several hours, if you wish. If you're on a salt-restricted diet, soak the meat in milk in the refrigerator instead.
Rinse the goose breasts thoroughly then pat them dry with clean paper towels. Remove the skin from the goose with a paring knife, if you wish.
Cut the goose breasts into small strips across the grain with a paring knife. If you're using a whole, small goose, first cut through the hip joints with a sharp boning knife to remove the legs, and separate the breasts from the keel bone.
Heat goose strips in oil in a large, heavy skillet on the stovetop with onions and garlic or any other seasonings until the meat is lightly browned on both sides. Alternatively, dredge the breasts in flour before browning them in oil, especially if the skin is still intact.
Line the bottom of the slow cooker with onions, celery, carrots or any other vegetables you'd like. Put the goose meat on top of the vegetables with a small amount of liquid. Water is fine, but you can also use chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, beer or your favorite barbecue sauce. Add seasonings, such as garlic powder or powdered onion soup mix.
Cook the goose on low heat for four to eight hours, depending upon the size and amount of goose meat, until it's fork tender.
- The more blood you can drain from goose meat, the less gamy the taste will be.
- Strain and thicken the cooking juices for a rich gravy, soup base, or for sauteing and seasoning other dishes.
- If you're in a hurry, skip the brining and browning steps and add chopped goose breasts to the slow cooker with three to four whole onions, seasonings and the liquid.
- Undercooked poultry, including goose, creates a higher risk for foodborne illnesses. Refrigerate goose immediately after purchase and use within one to two days. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends cooking goose to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit as measured using a food thermometer.
Bonnie Singleton has been writing professionally since 1996. She has written for various newspapers and magazines including "The Washington Times" and "Woman's World." She also wrote for the BBC-TV news magazine "From Washington" and worked for Discovery Channel online for more than a decade. Singleton holds a master's degree in musicology from Florida State University and is a member of the American Independent Writers.