Author Topic: Sky Carp  (Read 3446 times)

Offline hansumtoad

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Sky Carp
« on: April 08, 2010, 10:04:33 am »

Sky Carp, otherwise known as Chen caerulescens, otherwise known is its various forms as Snow Goose, Blue Goose, or Ross’ Goose are considered a form of waterfowl vermin due to their gross overpopulation and generally maddening flocking and feeding habits which all but prevent successful planned hunting.

During the regular waterfowl season they are generally not specifically hunted as they are not usually successfully decoyed from flight level 250 but are a target of opportunity.  During the spring migration back to the arctic tundra, however, the younger birds may be hunted with varying degrees of success.

During this late season there is no bag limit, guns are not required to be plugged, and electronic calls may be utilized.  Therefore, when the hunt proves successful, rather large harvests occur.

The most useable part of the bird are the breasts.  On greater snow geese they will average about a pound , or one serving after cooking.

Succinctly, for this recipe, we need a mess of snow geese breasts and a dozen or so thigh and drumsticks portions for giblets.

Brining Ingredients:
•   4 quarts water
•   1 cup pickling salt
•   20 snow geese breasts 10-16 ounces each
•   12 garlic cloves
•   2 Tbsp freshly crushed juniper berries
•   8 Tbsp pickling spices
•   6 bay leaves


Boil water. Add salt and crushed juniper berries.  Stir to dissolve salt.  Set aside to cool. Add garlic and pickling spices.
Place well washed goose breasts in a large zipper-style plastic bags or other non-metallic container. Pour spiced water including picking spices over meat and add bay leaves. Meat should be submerged; use a weighted jar to hold meat under pickling solution if necessary. Refrigerate or set in a cool place for one to seven days.  The longer the better. 


•   4 Tbsp fine kosher salt
•   3 Tbsp paprika
•   3 Tbsp coriander seeds
•   3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
•   3 Tbsp black peppercorns
•   2 Tbsp yellow mustard seeds
•   1 Tbsp white peppercorns
•   3 Tbsp dry minced garlic

In a spice grinder or a mortar and pestle, coarse grind the ingredients.
Remove the brined goose breasts, wash under cool water and let drain.  While still moist, liberally sprinkle the rub on both sides of the breasts.

Cold Smoke:

   Traditionally brined meats are cold smoked. This means that it is smoked at temperatures around 60 degrees F. We will be hot smoking our geese for a shorter time, and I promise you won't know the difference. Still we will keep the smoker temperature low, around 200 degrees F and smoke the geese for about 3 hours   
You do not need to worry about drying out the goose, it is a dark, moist meat by nature. The object is to cook down the meat and put some
smoke flavor into it.
For wood you will want something mild. While the smoke flavor is going to add to the quality of the brined goose you do not want to over power the flavor with a strong wood like hickory or mesquite. In the Bradley smoker I like to use Alder, Maple, or Apple and keep smoke on the meat for the entire cooking time.
Reduction sauce:

   Goose thigh and drumstick portions
   3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
   1 Tbsp minced garlic
   1 cup red wine
   ½ cup Tasselberry Farms Strawberry vinegar
   ½ cup heavy cream

While the goose is smoking heat the olive oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic mince to infuse the oil.  Remove the garlic. Increase to high heat until almost smoking.  Drop the goose portions into the hot oil and turn when well browned.  Cook the goose thoroughly and remove from heat.  Set aside to cool.  Reduce heat to medium high and add wine and vinegar. 

Stir pan vigorously to loosen cooking solids and continue to stir until half of the liquids are gone.  Reduce to low.

Strip the thigh and drummy meat from the bones.  Slice to thin, small pieces. Add to the reduction sauce.  Add Tasselberry Farms Strawberry Vinegar to taste.  Add ½ cup heavy cream and stir until incorporated.

Serve at once.

   Breasts may be served whole and warm with a reduction sauce or chilled and sliced thin on a mandolin or a with chef’s knife with the reduction as a dipping sauce.
   The secret to this FABULOUS recipe is the Strawberry Vinegar,  Tassleberry Farms.  Nothing else will do.
Wishing you all the best across the miles....

Offline Gizmo

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Re: Sky Carp
« Reply #1 on: April 08, 2010, 08:13:04 pm »
Sounds like you are in the central flyway.  Over population of the Snows has been a problem for 10 years or more from what I remember.
I haven't had a shot a a snow since one nearly took my head off as he dropped to the ground.
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Offline hansumtoad

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Re: Sky Carp
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2010, 09:01:15 pm »
Indeed I am in the Central fly zone.  The blind from which I ususally hunt abuts the Squaw Creek National Refuge.  We regularly have in excess of a million snows less than a half mile away....either laterally or vertically.  Most times its appropriate to put the gun down and just stand in awe.

You know, come to think of it, we saw some snows the other day with hakimachis tied around thier heads and one of them had the silhouette of a hunter painted on his chest.  :o
Wishing you all the best across the miles....