Skip to main content

Goose Breast With Cranberries Recipe

Follow this recipe to see how great goose breast really is on the table along with a special cranberry touch

Goose Breast With Cranberries Recipe
Cook the goose breast medium-rare to ensure a mouthwatering, tender meat. (Hank Shaw photo)
Print Recipe

Geese are tough, they say. Livery, smelly, and hard to clean. Sky carp.

All of this can be true, but it still shouldn't stop you from hunting, cooking, and enjoying your goose breast. Follow these guidelines and you'll be shocked at how wonderful the Lords of the Air can be on the table.

Let me start with the king of all geese: the whitefront or specklebelly goose. This is the finest-eating goose in North America (with the possible exception of the black brant on the West Coast). Specks are a seed-eating bird that can put on a heavy layer of fat, are the perfect size to feed four, and will always be sweet and lovely.

More common, however, is the Canada goose, which can range in size from teeny cacklers and Aleutians no larger than a mallard all the way to the giants of the Midwest, which can top 20 pounds. Canada geese are what most of us think of when we think "goose," and they are, like the equally ubiquitous mallard, very, ahem, variable birds at the table. I've had Canada goose that was sublime and some even the dog wouldn't eat.


Diet matters. Grain-eating Canadas taste best. And they can live a long time; every year hunters bring down banded Canadas well over 20 years old, and a 10-year-old Canada isn't uncommon. A bird that old is going to be tough as nails. With more long-lived, resident geese around these days, it is always safe to assume that any large Canada goose you shoot will be tough.


So what to do? With the breast meat, you still want to cook it medium-rare like any other goose or duck, but you want to make sure you rest the meat well (at least 10 minutes) and slice it very thin. Think roast beef, not a ribeye. As for the legs and wings, slow and low is the key. Stew or braise the legs and you'll be surprised how meaty they are; they're a bit like brisket.

Serves: 2-4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 to 1 ½ pounds duck or goose breast
  • Salt (smoked salt if you have it)
  • ⅓ cup unsalted butter
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cranberries
  • ½ cup fresh rosemary, (loosely packed) little bunches on stem
  • 1 tablespoon honey or brown sugar
  • Pickled mustard seeds (optional)

Directions:


  1. Take the goose breasts out of the fridge and salt them well. Let them come to room temperature for 30 minutes or so.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a sauté pan set over medium-high heat. Sear the goose, skin side down (or, if skinless, the side the skin used to be on), and cook over medium heat until it's brown and crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Flip and cook another 2 to 4 minutes, depending on how well you like your goose. Set the meat (skin side up if it has skin) on a cutting board to rest while you make the sauce.
  3. Add the rest of the butter to the pan and turn the heat to medium. Add the cranberries and toss to coat with the butter. Let the berries cook for a minute or two, until a few start to burst, then add the rosemary, honey, and quite a lot of black pepper – you want very much to be able to detect the black pepper in this dish. Toss all this to combine and heat through for another minute or so. Add any juices that have collected on the cutting board to the pan.
  4. Slice the goose breasts and serve with the sauce. If you're using the pickled mustard seeds, sprinkle some of them on the meat.
  5. Serve with roasted or mashed potatoes or with good bread.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Is That a Grizzly Bear?

Kevin Steele and Jason Morton are above the Arctic Circle pursuing grizzly bears in Alaska and put a stalk on what they believe is a good one.

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Camp Chef at SHOT Show: Elk Venison Slider Burgers Recipe

Have a freezer full of ground elk venison from your fall hunting trips? Never fear, the folks at Camp Chef have a great SHOT Show recipe that is lean and mean, easy to prepare, and a crowd-pleasing favorite!

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

.500 S&W vs. the King of the Beasts

Smith & Wesson's Tony Miele and host Kevin Steele track an African lion across the Kalahari for the ultimate handgun showdown with the King of the Beasts.

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Best Whitetail Shot Placement with a Rifle

Craig Boddington breaks down where hunters should aim on a whitetail that provides the best possible margin for error.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Is lever action dead? Not by a long shot.The Return of Lever Action Rifles Guns

The Return of Lever Action Rifles

Craig Boddington - May 26, 2020

Is lever action dead? Not by a long shot.

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians; learn more about this tick-transmitted problem.Ticks Making People Allergic to Meat News

Ticks Making People Allergic to Meat

David Hart

A new wave of allergies threatens to turn hunters into vegetarians; learn more about this...

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future. The Best New Deer Hunting Technology Accessories

The Best New Deer Hunting Technology

Jeff Johnston - May 15, 2020

Technology is taking deer hunters, and their gear, into the future.

This recipe adds a little something extra to already-perfect venison backstrap – a sweet and spicy relish made with white-flesh peaches.Venison Backstrap with Sweet & Spicy Peach Relish Recipe Recipes

Venison Backstrap with Sweet & Spicy Peach Relish Recipe

Jack Hennessy

This recipe adds a little something extra to already-perfect venison backstrap – a sweet and...

See More Trending Articles

More Recipes

Making savory venison sausage isn't difficult. And while some might think the process of making sausage is time-consuming and cumbersome, it's all in perspective.Venison Jalapeño Country Sausage Recipe Recipes

Venison Jalapeño Country Sausage Recipe

David Draper

Making savory venison sausage isn't difficult. And while some might think the process of...

It only takes 30 minutes to make this Eggs in Purgatory Recipe.Camp Breakfast Recipe: Eggs in Purgatory Recipes

Camp Breakfast Recipe: Eggs in Purgatory

David Draper

It only takes 30 minutes to make this Eggs in Purgatory Recipe.

A Dutch oven over an open fire is the perfect way to cook this hearty bean dish.Dutch Oven Venison & Apple BBQ Camp Beans Recipe Recipes

Dutch Oven Venison & Apple BBQ Camp Beans Recipe

Michael Pendley

A Dutch oven over an open fire is the perfect way to cook this hearty bean dish.

See More Recipes

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save.

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Petersen's Hunting App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Petersen's Hunting subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now