The Washington Post

Holiday Goose

Holiday Goose 2.000

James M. Thresher for The Washington Post

Chef on Call Nov 23, 2008

Here, the marinade is reduced to a rich and glossy sauce. The recipe makes more than you'll need for 3 servings; place the sauce in plastic food storage freezer bags and press out as much air as possible before sealing. The sauce can be frozen for up to 2 months.

Duck breast may be substituted, and you can use any acidic winter fruit instead of dried apricots; sliced kumquats work well.

Serve this dish with wild rice, couscous or sweet potato hash (see related recipe).

Servings: 2 - 3
  • For the marinade
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/4 cup honey, preferably dark amber
  • 3/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • For the goose
  • 2 goose breast halves, skin removed (8 to 11 ounces each; fresh or thoroughly defrosted)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 to 4 medium shallots, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 3/4 cup red wine, such as a Cotes du Rhone or malbec
  • 1/2 cup dried unsulphured unsweetened apricots, cut into very thin strips (julienne; may substitute unsweetened dried cranberries, kumquats or orange sections)
  • 1/2 bunch sage leaves, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into several pieces

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For the marinade: Combine the juice, honey and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl large enough to hold the goose breast halves; mix well.

For the goose: Add the breast halves to the marinade and turn to coat. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 2 hours (or refrigerate, if desired).

When ready to cook, remove the goose breast halves from the marinade and pat them dry with paper towels; reserve the marinade. Season both sides of the breast halves with salt and pepper.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet over high heat until it is smoking. Add the goose breast halves and sear on one side for 3 minutes until browned, then use tongs to transfer them to a plate.

Reduce the heat to medium-high; add the oil to the skillet and then the shallots. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until the shallots are translucent, then add the wine to deglaze the pan, using a wooden spatula or spoon to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the skillet.

Add the reserved marinade and bring to a boil, stirring; reduce the heat to medium-low. Return the goose breast halves to the skillet, seared sides up. Cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, until the meat is medium-rare (about 135 degrees on an instant-read thermometer).

Transfer the breast halves to a cutting board; cover loosely with aluminum foil and let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, increase the heat to high under the skillet. Add the fruit and bring to a boil; cook for 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce mixture has reduced by half and is slightly syrupy.

Add the sage, then swirl in the butter to achieve a thickened, shiny sauce. Remove from the heat. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.

To serve, cut each breast half on the diagonal into 8 thin slices and, preferably, drape them over or place alongside one of the side dishes mentioned in the headnote. Spoon the warm sauce on top. Serve warm.

Recipe Source

Adapted from McLean pastry chef and Louisiana native David Guas.

Tested by Frances Stead Sellers.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 3; with 3/4 cup sauce total): 477

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 24g 37%

Saturated Fat: 8g 40%

Cholesterol: 135mg 45%

Sodium: 532mg 22%

Total Carbohydrates: 28g 9%

Dietary Fiber: 1g 4%

Sugar: n/a

Protein: 35g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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