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Tough Honkers


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#1 CRITTRGITTR

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 10:59 PM

We took a Jr hunter on his 2nd waterfowl hunt ever this mornin and managed to scratch up some nice white cheeks. Normally I will just breast honkers out and make peppersticks with them or slice them really thin and cook medium rare. The small juvie birds aren't bad but I always have a rough time with the older and bigger birds bein tough. I was wonderin' If you let a picked bird age in the fridge for a week or so would that help tender them up a little or are they just a lost cause? Posted Imagenot a bad mornin'

#2 CaseyU

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:02 PM

I found a little trick that works pretty good with the honkers! I cut them into slices and then soak them in Coca Cola. (this is no joke) for about a day. take them out and then marinade them in what ever you like. It seems like the coke breaks down the fibers! just give it a whirl when you get a chance! Nice looking birds. and it's always awesome to get those juniors on the birds like that!

#3 CRITTRGITTR

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:06 PM

Hmmmm... Might try it, but I have the thin slices thing down already I'm wonderin about how to make a whole bird a little less tough. Thanks for the idea though. Posted ImageMMMMMMM

#4 Old timer

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:41 AM

Try one what have you got to lose
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#5 Moe

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 07:45 AM

I will also breast out my birds but I always save the legs as that's where the most flavorful meat is. Locally all we get is Canadas but there are 7 different species of Canadas here. In eastern Oregon and Washington there are more honkers than anything else so if you want to hunt geese that's what you get. What I sometimes do is cook them like a pot roast in the oven. Cooking them slowly with water in the pan causes them to get tender. I will breast them out and put the breasts and legs in a dutch oven and cook them for about 1 hr & 45 minutes. I then add the vegetables and cook them for another 30 to 45 minutes. I have a professional style duck picker but even so, honkers are a real pain to pick. You still have to pull out the big feathers before cleaning them up with the picker but even so I like to roast a whole bird or two every year. I bought a small covered roasting pan for that purpose a long time ago. Slow cooking and moisture is important there, too. Stuffing the bird is also important if you want them to be tender and I rub the skin with peanut oil. Cooking them breast side down helps, too. Before stuffing them go inside the body cavity and cut a few holes through the breast bone.When I was single I liked to roast a big goose about once a week and then cut off slices for sandwiches to take to work for lunch. Cold honker sandwiches are pretty good. Cacklers are incredibly tough so I always breast them out. I will save the legs from all of the mallards and geese I breast out and slow cook them like I described for eating in front of a football game with friends. I like to take cackler breasts and put one between some Glad wrap and pound them with a mallet until the meat is broken down and the breast is thin. I'll then bread the breast and fry it in some olive oil with a couple of unpeeled garlic cloves until it's just done. I'll put the meat on a good French roll for a great sandwich. My wife likes them! While on the subject I'll tell you my favorite way to cook sprig. I pick them clean with the duck picker and once totally cleaned I will season them with nothing but salt. I go inside the breast cavity with a small paring knife and poke a bunch of holes in the breast bone. I will get apples that are generally used to make cider, Gravensteins, Macintosh, Northern Spy, etc, or any sweet apple. The important thing is that they are juicy and sweet. I peel the apple and cut it in slices and then stuff as much of it as I possibly can in the birds. I place them breast down in a small pan putting 3 or 4 of them pushed close together and roast them at 325 for about 1 hr and 15 mins. When they're cool enough I will pull out the apple slices and eat the birds with my fingers. This is good stuff.
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#6 Shoot-it

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 11:04 PM

Every time I tried cooking them they tasted like dog poop.Where did you shoot those at.

#7 Moe

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 06:43 AM

Looks like he shot them in the breast.
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#8 CaseyU

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 11:12 AM

WOW. I have plucked some geese. but you guys are good!!! plucking those bad boys is a job! Another idea for cooking them is pluck them, as you have, cook them on a rotisery (sorry about spelling). make your own glaze. season them. throw them on. and continually hit them with the glaze. Try not to over cook. the only other way i will cook goose. IF for some reason i decide to pluck them. I'm a big jerky guy. and my family runs a meat processing and grocery store. so we have the duck/goose brats down. GARLIC/CHEDDAR. :rolleyes:

#9 Shoot-it

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 12:58 PM

Looks like he shot them in the breast.

What area smarty pants LOLNow jerky sounds good I have a neighbor that makes jerky out of duck breasts and it's pretty good.

#10 Rogue

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Posted 19 January 2010 - 07:39 PM

Waterfowl makes Great Jerky! I won't eat waterfowl any other way. Breast them out, slice in strips, soak them in that Jerky Brine from Walmart over night (not in a metal pan) then smoke them in a smoker with Hickory or Alder Chips. MMMMMgood! I heard that soaking them in milk draws the blood out of the meat?

#11 CaseyU

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 10:08 AM

Rogue... I tested the milk out on the ducks and geese. i tried a batch soaked in milk, and a batch soaked in coke cola. the coke batch was ten times better! give it a shot, i promise you won't be dissapointed!

#12 nje

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Posted 20 January 2010 - 07:26 PM

when i cook them whole, i first rub them under the skin with a mixture of butter, sea salt and pepper. i then stuff the bird with chopped celery, carrots, onions, apples and quartered lemon and lime. the cavity is not that big so i put a equal amount of each. i cook on a weber BBQ with coals to the sides and a pie pan filed with pinot grigio(wine) and the remaining ingredients that would not fit in the bird. i cook breast down for the first 30 min. and then turn breast up for the rest of cooking. the average goose takes 3hrs. with low heat(not sure the temp as i judge with fingertips on lid but it has to be in the low 200s) and cooks it to a little more than medium rare. never had a dry or tough bird. do wild turkeys this way also.

#13 peeker seeker

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:09 PM

Cook slow on a low heat. Never had a bad goose. falls apart like a good beef roast. Cover for the first 2-3 hrs and then un cover to brown it. (Just brown it ) Or it will be jerky
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#14 Colin

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Posted 10 March 2010 - 07:31 PM

Now I've never tried this but saw a hunting/cooking show and the guy said that you have to cook goose rare, like you would tuna steaks. Just sear them on the outside. He said they do not have the same problems like other fowl and it is safe to cook them rare. He said that cooking them more than rare will make them taste horrible. Just a thought.




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