Cooking North Carolina and Manitoba Snow Geese

A dinner featuring nearly all snow goose dishes from North Carolina and Manitoba.


The author often waterfowls with black-powder shotguns.

  Snow geese hunting opportunities now exist along all the U.S. flyways with most hunters having access to these birds during both Fall and Spring hunts in the Eastern and Central flyways.  However, many waterfowlers are not taking advantage of the increased bag limits because they do not know what to do with the geese they bag.  Here are some simple recipes where these good-eating geese are cooked in a varieties of ways.

On a recent hunt in North Carolina none of the other hunters wanted their birds even after the guide offered to breast them out. With an ample supply of raw material, I proceeded to cook them up using recipes that I had obtained from guides Aaron Mathews in Currituck, North Carolina, and Derin “Gator” Walker in Plumas, Manitoba, along with a couple of my own.

  Grinding snow goose breasts for Italian sausage. Snow goose sausage. Making sausage from any wild-game meat is always an option and one I used here for snow geese. The breasts are washed, any shot and feathers removed, cut into chunks and fed into the grinder. Any sausage seasoning mix will do. I prefer my own variant of  Italian sausage which uses caraway seeds, crushed pepper, oregano, a touch of mace and salt. When any sausage mix is used a good rule of thumb is to use one teaspoon of mix per pound of meat. The details of my sausage mix recipes are in my book, Backyard Deer Hunting: Converting deer to dinner for pennies per pound.

  Even without adding any additional fat, this sausage cooked very well, although I did add water to the frying pan at the end to keep it from getting too dry and make sure that it was completely done. With the seasonings I used, I cannot taste a significant difference between this and similar sausage made from ground deer meat. The grinder shown is an inexpensive one costing about $60. This cost will be recovered with the money saved from the first deer your process, rather than paying a commercial processor to do it.  

  Snow goose breasts with mixed beans. After cutting about two pounds of breasts (3-large) into smaller cubes I added these to a pot of mixed beans. To a cup of dried beans I added one cut-up onion, about half-a-teaspoon of salt and about a quarter teaspoon of crushed red pepper. These were allowed to cook until the goose was soft. and I also added some additional water and a tablespoon of margarine to keep the beans from scorching. These beans had a small amount of heat from the pepper, but the flavor of the snow goose came through.  I like to add the onions fairly late so that they remain a little crunchy, and do not go completely limp.

Beer battered and fried snow goose tenders (L) and Irish whisky marinated breasts (R).

 Irish Whisky marinated snow goose.  This recipe is from Darin “Gator” Walker. The snow goose breasts are marinated overnight in a mix made of Irish whisky and Italian dressing. Then they are bacon wrapped and charcoal grilled to give them a little smoke flavor and finished off in an oven. The oven-finishing may be omitted if you want a less than well-done  product. The best result is if the meat is still a little pink in the middle. Coat the breasts again with the marinate before putting into the oven and cover to retain moisture.

Shake-N-Bake snow goose strips. This recipe calls for the geese breasts to be cut into strips and soaked overnight in Ranch Dressing. Then they are coated in the Shake-N-Bake seasoned coating and placed in an oven at 350 degrees to cook. Best results is obtained if the cooking time is closely monitored and is not over about 20 min. in a pre-heated oven. These shown were somewhat over cooked. This recipe was recommended by Aaron Mathews as among his favorites.  This process is shown in the following video.

Whole Roast Snow Goose. Snow geese do have a distinctive taste. I found that I liked the other preparations better that the sliced goose breast meat, but David Martin, who filmed the video, came to the opposite conclusion. I cooked this just as I would cook a regular goose or wild turkey using the recipe in my books, Backyard Deer Hunting, Crossbow Hunting and X-treme Muzzleloading.  This consisted of plucking the bird, rubbing in some margarine, salt, pepper and celery seed into the breast, adding a cut-up onion and a coup of water, sealing it up in aluminum foil and cooking in the oven at 350 degrees for about 2 hours.

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