The “Dirty” Bird

snow goose, blue goose, goose huntingWhy does the Chen caerulescens – or as we more often refer to it, the Snow Goose – get such a bad rap when it comes to edibility?

At a glance, that research pretty much led me in the same direction that I end up going when it comes to cooking waterfowl in general; it’s not about the bird, the flavor, so much as it is about the one running the kitchen…

Being the one to “get stuck with” a pile of conservation season birds recently, I wanted to try something new, and maybe put a little taste theory to the test. A recent conversation with another pursuer of the white bird inspired me to try something I had never done before. “Chicken Fried” snow goose. I was intrigued.  Why not?

It went a little something like this:

Clean 5 breast pieces well with salt and water. I always do an overnight soak in salt water as well, after I clean them, so if that is not a standard practice for you, you may do this prior to.

Let these marinate in a concoction (just enough to cover) consisting of the following:

  • 1 tbs lemon juice (fresh squeezed)
  • 1 tbs salt
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 1 tbs rosemary

After about 12 hours of this, pound them out until thin and put them back in the marinade, adding 2tbs milk, then coat in flour, cornmeal and spices – to taste – (cayenne, garlic, onion, pepper, paprika, and I added ½ cup Uncle Bucks Fish Fry).

Fry in peanut oil approx 3 min per side.

The wife served this up with her own scratch mashed potatoes and gravy – add your veggie of choice to round it out.  Topping it with a pile of sauteed mushrooms and a glass of Pinot Noir – I was quite pleased with this one from Cupcake – helped tie the whole thing together.

We really enjoyed the meal, wife and kids included. The work up front and the marinade went the distance in minimizing the “gaminess” that you sometimes get when overcooking waterfowl, and no leftovers went to waste.

In fact, I went with a whole new angle for day two of my culinary snow goose challenge…

Using a leftover piece, I employed the simple bun, lettuce, tomato, red onion, lots of fresh cracked pepper, and went the tenderloin sandwich route.  A little “chewier” as leftover sandwich fare, but still excellent tasting, and made for an awesome sandwich. No question at all – this is something I would do again.

Whoever said the dirty white bird doesn’t clean up as well for dinner… well, they can just go on thinking that as long as they’d like. Just help me clean ’em next time!

~ benton

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