Confit Goose Legs and Goose Breast Sous Vide with Goose Jus
By Jon Wipfli, The Minnesota Spoon
Goose might not be your go-to holiday bird, but this recipe will make you a believer. Don’t let fancy French words like confit and sous vide scare you off, these techniques are within your reach. If you can fill a pan with rendered fat and suck the air out of a Ziploc bag, you’ll do just fine. While this recipe can work with one goose, it works much better with two because you end up with more fat for the confit and more bones for the goose jus. You need plenty of those two things to make it right.
2 whole geese
8 tablespoons butter
2 sprigs rosemary
4 sprigs thyme
1 bottle red wine
2 or 3 large shallots
Two days before dinner:
Remove the breasts and legs from the geese, and trim all the fat from the remainder of both geese. Chop the carcasses into one-inch pieces with a cleaver and set aside. Mix two tablespoons salt and two tablespoons Heathers Dirty Goodness Vintage (or your favorite spicy dry rub). Generously coat the legs with the mixture and let sit in the fridge for 24 hours.
The day before:
Rendered Goose Fat and Goose Cracklins
Remove the fat from the breasts in one piece, and place the pieces in a large pot with the rest of the trimmed fat. Cover with three times as much water as there is fat. Put on a high boil until the liquid turns clear, making sure none of the goose fat sticks and burns on the bottom of the pot, about three hours.
Pick out the breast fat pieces from the rest of the rendered fat. They should be pretty even in size and shape. Dice the breast fat into tiny pieces and sauté with a small amount of grapeseed oil and a heavy pinch of salt, until the cracklins become crispy and brown.
Goose Leg Confit
Put the legs in a high-walled baking dish. Cover the legs with the rendered goose fat and put in a 325°F oven for about three-and-a-half hours, or until the legs are just beginning to fall of the bone.
The morning of the dinner:
Find a wide pot big enough to hold the goose bones in one layer. While the pot is cold, add the bones and crank up the heat. Adjust the pot over the flame to evenly heat over the entire bottom. Do not stir the bones: you’re trying to develop fonds, or sucs, which will lead to flavor. Once the bottom of the pot is as dark as it can get without turning black, pour in an entire bottle of red wine and reduce until it is a glaze. Add a liter of chicken stock and let that reduce to a glaze. Repeat that step twice more. Next, take a handful of unpeeled shallots and enough stock to cover the bones by double and let that simmer for roughly five to six hours, or until the sauce is thick enough to resemble a loose gravy. Strain the sauce through a chinois.
Sous Vide Breasts
Take two breasts, season them with salt and pepper, and seal them in a vacuum-sealed bag with four tablespoons of butter, a sprig of rosemary, and two sprigs of thyme. Repeat with the other two breasts. Heat water in a large pot. On the bottom of the pot, place a rack, plate or bowl to ensure the bags never touch the bottom. Drop in the bags of breasts and gently warm the water to 135–140°F° and never let it get over that. Let it sit at that temperature for an hour.
To serve, pull the legs out of the fat, reheat in the oven, then cut at the joints. Slice the breasts against the grain. Pour goose jus over everything in sight and cover the breast with the cracklins.
More Holiday Feast Recipes:
Smoked Ham Hock and Confit Gizzard Stuffing, by Erik Sather, Lowry Hill Meats
Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Bacon and Pickled Peppers, by Ann Kim, Pizzeria Lola
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta Cream, by Alex Roberts, Restaurant Alma
Crunchy Wild Rice Salad with Citrus Dressing, by Stephanie Meyer, freshtart.com
Chocolate Stout Devil’s Food with Rosemary Buttercream, by Zoë François, ZoeBakes.com