Tea-smoked Canada Goose

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Prep Time: 10 min - Cook Time: 30 min

If you’re looking to make an impression at the dinner table, this recipe is it: The flavors and aromas in this tea-smoked goose breast are by no means shy. Sichuan peppercorns impart a juniper berry-like flavor, while tea leaves, star anise and rice are gently toasted to create a smoke that’s almost intoxicating. The better news is this dish is fairly simple to make—the most difficult part might be tracking down dried Sichuan peppercorns, also called prickly ash.

This recipe takes a few shortcuts that depart from the original Sichuan dish, which is prepared with duck. I chose Canada goose breast because of its thickness. Black tea is traditional, but green or jasmine could also work; I used a mixture of loose-leaf oolong and a packet of Earl Grey tea that were lying around in my pantry.

As far as waterfowl, Canada goose tends to be on the tougher side so slice thinly to serve.


 

Ingredients


  1 Canada goose breast, skin on
  2 tsp duck fat or olive oil
  2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (dried prickly ash)
   Kosher salt, to taste
  2 each star anise
  1/3 cup(s) loose-leaf black tea
  1/4 cup(s) uncooked white rice
  1 tbsp brown sugar
  1.5 tbsp water
   Special equipment: Steamer pot; or wok, cooling rack that fi


Instructions

Step #1 Three hours prior to cooking, take Canada goose breast out of the refrigerator to come up to room temperature. Score the goose skin and remove the tenderloin. Grind Sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and rub two-thirds of the ground peppercorns all over the breast. Season generously with salt.



Step #2 Combine tea, white rice, star anise and brown sugar in a spice grinder or food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the star anise and to blend ingredients—do not grind too finely. Line the bottom of the steamer pot with aluminum foil and scatter tea-rice mixture onto it, along with the remaining ground Sichuan peppercorns, and then set aside.




Step #3 When ready to cook, heat duck fat or oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Pat goose breast completely dry with paper towels. When fat starts smoking, sear each side of the breast for 2 minutes, or until a crust forms.



Step #4 Splash 1.5 tablespoons of water over the tea-rice mixture inside the steamer pot. Place the steamer basket above it, and then lay the goose breast onto the steamer basket skin side down. Turn heat on medium-low and cover the pot. You should start seeing smoke soon—if not, increase heat until you do, and then turn heat back down so ingredients don’t burn off too quickly. Smoke the goose breast for 10-15 minutes, or until internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit.

Use a probe thermometer to take out the guesswork. Smoking time will vary.



Step #5 When breast reaches 135 degrees, take the pot off the heat. Move the lid halfway off the pot and allow the goose to rest in the steamer for about 10 minutes. Look for a finishing temperature of 140-145 degrees. When fully rested, slice breast thinly against the grain. Serve on top of a salad or with stir-fried vegetables and steamed white rice.



Recipe Card

Tea-smoked Canada Goose

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Prep Time: 10 min - Cook Time: 30 min



Ingredients


1 Canada goose breast, skin on
2 tsp duck fat or olive oil
2 tsp Sichuan peppercorns (dried prickly ash)
Kosher salt, to taste
2 each star anise
1/3 cup(s) loose-leaf black tea
1/4 cup(s) uncooked white rice
1 tbsp brown sugar
1.5 tbsp water
Special equipment: Steamer pot; or wok, cooling rack that fi


Instructions


Step #1 - Three hours prior to cooking, take Canada goose breast out of the refrigerator to come up to room temperature. Score the goose skin and remove the tenderloin. Grind Sichuan peppercorns in a mortar and pestle and rub two-thirds of the ground peppercorns all over the breast. Season generously with salt.
Step #2 - Combine tea, white rice, star anise and brown sugar in a spice grinder or food processor. Pulse a few times to break up the star anise and to blend ingredients—do not grind too finely. Line the bottom of the steamer pot with aluminum foil and scatter tea-rice mixture onto it, along with the remaining ground Sichuan peppercorns, and then set aside.
Step #3 - When ready to cook, heat duck fat or oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Pat goose breast completely dry with paper towels. When fat starts smoking, sear each side of the breast for 2 minutes, or until a crust forms.
Step #4 - Splash 1.5 tablespoons of water over the tea-rice mixture inside the steamer pot. Place the steamer basket above it, and then lay the goose breast onto the steamer basket skin side down. Turn heat on medium-low and cover the pot. You should start seeing smoke soon—if not, increase heat until you do, and then turn heat back down so ingredients don’t burn off too quickly. Smoke the goose breast for 10-15 minutes, or until internal temperature in the thickest part of the breast reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a probe thermometer to take out the guesswork. Smoking time will vary.
Step #5 - When breast reaches 135 degrees, take the pot off the heat. Move the lid halfway off the pot and allow the goose to rest in the steamer for about 10 minutes. Look for a finishing temperature of 140-145 degrees. When fully rested, slice breast thinly against the grain. Serve on top of a salad or with stir-fried vegetables and steamed white rice.


About the Author

Jenny and Rick Wheatley
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Jenny and Rick Wheatley both grew up in Southern California and connected over a shared love of the outdoors. They started their wild game cooking blog Food for Hunters in 2011, where they share recipes, photos and thoughts on wild food. Today, Jenny and Rick continue to hunt, fish, forage and cook in the Cornhusker State of Nebraska. Their recipes have appeared in numerous publications, including Petersens Hunting, Game and Fish, Nebraskaland and North American Whitetail magazines.

The Nebraska Center for the Book awarded their book Hunting for Food: Guide to Harvesting, Field Dressing and Cooking Wild Game the Wildlife Honor Award in 2016.

 


Photo Credit

Jenny Wheatley
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Website: www.foodforhunters.com
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