Northern Colorado has some of the best Canada goose hunting in the country if you can find access, afford a lease or be lucky enough to be invited to one. Low on decoys, I often wait for the last. So, when I get that call from a friend, usually someone I met through BHA, I try not to say no to their invitation.
This time the invite came from Colorado Chapter Co-Chair Donald Holmstrom. We headed to his lease and sat in the blind. As the geese lifted off the roost from a nearby lake, they cruised in, circling behind us before cupping their wings and descending feet down into the decoys. Shots were fired. Feathers flew. Wading into the hip-high water to retrieve the birds offered a stretch of the legs and a moment to enjoy success in the field.
Canadas, while offering a large, meaty breast and legs, are still often maligned as table fare. Critics will say they’re gamey, swampy and stinky. To be honest, in many ways I agree, but it’s an obstacle worth overcoming. Brining, marinating, smoking and seasoning are all ways that aid the goose hunter in the kitchen.
This recipe utilizes a zesty and spicy citrus- and yogurt-based marinade, which brings a multitude of benefits to the meat. The acid from the lemon juice and yogurt will ensure the meat is tender. The yogurt, because of the dairy, will also help draw out much of the gamey flavoring these birds are known for. The zesty and spicy seasoning accents the grass-fed-beef quality that will make goose damn delicious. To top it off, I encourage you to cook this goose on a charcoal, Traeger or pellet-fed grill to savor that charred-smokey flavor.
Don’t spoil another wonderful hunt with another serving of goose you’d rather toss in the trash. Instead, enjoy these homemade goose pitas with your next wild harvest.
Canada Goose Pitas
- 1 goose breast (about ½ lb.), sliced thin across its grain
- Flour tortillas – I use this recipe
- Mint-relish yogurt sauce
- Basmati rice
- Mixed vegetables
- 1 cup yogurt
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 tbsp Baharat seasoning*
- 1 tsp oregano
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed and sliced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
*If no Baharat seasoning is available, mix 1 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp allspice, ½ tsp nutmeg, ½ tsp cumin.
- Lettuce or mixed greens
- Grilled onion
- Mint-relish yogurt sauce**
- Sliced olives
**Mint-Relish Yogurt Sauce
- 1 lemon, juiced and zested
- 2 tbsp cucumber relish
- 1 tbsp dried mint (or 2 tbsp fresh chopped mint)
- ½ tsp oregano
- 1 cup of yogurt
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all marinade ingredients. Add sliced goose breast and coat. Let marinate overnight if possible, but no less than 1 hour prior to cooking.
- Remove goose from marinade and skewer each piece to create kebabs.
- Grill over high heat, turning all four sides every 3 minutes. Repeat cooking all sides for an additional 2 minutes per side.
- Heat tortillas over the grill.
- Place tortilla in foil wrap, spread hummus, add goose then grilled onions, greens and yogurt sauce. Top with sliced olives, pickles, sumac and a little more Baharat seasoning.
- Wrap in a cone. Seal with foil.
- Serve with Basmati rice and your favorite grilled vegetables.