Rosemary Sangiovese Braised Goose Legs

I had a hankering for goose, so last night, I defrosted some goose drumsticks that I froze a while back, and here we are. Since goose is generally a little tougher than chicken since it uses its muscles quite a bit more throughout its life, it requires a little extra care and attention. However, for the flavour combinations you can make, and the aromas that fill the kitchen (not to mention an excuse to break out the dutch oven!), it’s completely worth it! So, I decided to braise the goose legs in wine tonight…which led me to a question that I quite struggled with today: “Which Wine?” I picked Sangiovese because of its relatively high acidity, strong fruitiness, and relative lack of tannins. Why are these qualities important to me tonight, you ask?

  • High Acidity: I wanted this because I am pairing the goose legs with a lemon mashed potato, and the acidity of the wine will help stand up to and complement the strength of the lemon zest.
  • Strong Fruitiness: This is simply for taste. The wine I picked didn’t have any crazy subtle notes that would be killed by cooking. Instead, the cooking (especially since the braising liquid has rosemary sprigs and bay leaf) will allow the fruit to come through strongly, which will produce an excellent sauce for the goose legs.
  • Low Tannins: This will keep the braising liquid and sauce from becoming bitter.
  • **Disclaimer: I am not a wine connoisseur, and I could have my reasons slightly off…but it tasted good, so no harm, no foul (ha! Goose pun).

Tonight’s goose was paired with Lemon Pepper Mashed Potatoes and Shaved Brussels Sprouts. However, it would go very well with starches like Roasted Baby Potatoes or Spätzli and/or vegetable sides like Gorgonzola Mashed Turnip, Mashed Celery Root, or Roasted Asparagus.

Time: 90 Minutes

Ingredients:

  • Goose (or Duck) Legs
  • Sangiovese (or other red wine)
  • Flour (About 1/2 tablespoon)
  • Aromatics for braising. I used a few celery stalks, two sprigs of rosemary, and one bay leaf.
  • Salt/Pepper

Method:

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F
  • Start heating your cast iron dutch oven (you can use another vessel if it’s got a tight fitting lid and is totally oven safe…but cast iron is the best). While it heats, trim excess fat and skin off your goose legs, and give the skin side a good sprinkle of salt and pepper.
  • When the dutch oven is hot, put the goose legs in skin side down, and let them sit in the pan for bout 4-5 minutes until they get a nice golden brown color. Then flip and repeat.
  • When your goose has a good sear on it, add your aromatics to the pan. Then, turn the heat off completely, and slowly and carefully pour some wine into the pan. You want the wine to cover about half of the chicken and for the skin to not be submerged.
  • Stash the dutch oven with the lid in your oven for at least 60 minutes…You can keep them in for 90-120 minutes though to help them become more tender.
  • When you’re done (internal temperature has reached a bare minimum of 165 degrees F), remove your duck legs, and set them aside.
  • Remove your aromatics, and discard them. Then gently sprinkle in your flour with one hand while simultaneously vigorously whisking with the other (to avoid clumping).
  • When your sauce arrives at your desired level of thickness, you’re good to go!
  • Plate, devour, and enjoy!

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