Good barbecue consists of a few different things, specifically juicy and tender meat with a lot of fat, smoke and bold flavors. Those qualities don’t seem to describe confit, but this recipe will surprise you.
In comparison to pork or beef, the muscle tissue of wild game is more developed and lower in fat content. For something tough like a goose leg, you should cook it low and slow in a way that won’t allow the meat to dry out.
This recipe is similar to a cheater BBQ method of making brisket or ribs in which you slow cook the meat to tenderize it and then finish on a smoking-hot grill. Instead of braising the goose thighs in liquid, submerge them in oil to slowly tenderize the meat and add fat—confit style.
To finish, season the confit goose legs with the rub and sear them over hot coals. Serve with the tangy barbecue sauce and all of your favorite barbecue sides. Don’t forget to pronounce it “cone-fee” to sound fancy in front of all your friends.
- 2 lbs. goose thighs
- 8+ cups oil or duck fat (enough to cover meat)*
- Serve with: BBQ sauce, potato salad, yellow onion, pickled mustard seeds, jalapenos, bread, etc.
- 1 tbsp. kosher or smoked sea salt
- 1 tbsp. black pepper
- 1 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. onion powder
- 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
Tangy BBQ Sauce
- 1 tbsp. butter
- 3 tbsp. minced yellow onion
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup ketchup
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp. Worcestershire
- 3/4 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
Also works with
- The day before you plan to cook, mix the ingredients together for the rub. Sprinkle this over the meat. There should be enough to cover, plus some leftover. Reserve what you don’t use to season the meat after it’s cooked or to sprinkle on the potato salad. Cover and refrigerate the meat for up to two days.
- Turn a crockpot to the low setting. Add the seasoned goose legs and cover with the fat or oil until completely submerged. Cook until fork tender, but don’t let all the meat slide off the bones. This should take about 4-5 hours.
- Remove the thighs using tongs and let the excess oil drip off. Season with a sprinkle more of the dry rub on both sides.
- Turn a grill to high, or have coals burned down. Once the grill is hot, quickly sear each side of the thighs.
- Eat as is or serve with a smorgasbord of sides, such as the tangy barbecue sauce and potato salad. I like to shred the meat for a sandwich with pickled jalapenos, pickled mustard seeds and onion.
Tangy BBQ Sauce
- Heat a small pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the butter and onions then sauté until translucent. Whisk in the remaining ingredients and bring it to a soft boil. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer for about 15-30 minutes to reduce. To make a sweeter sauce, add another tablespoon of brown sugar. To make a spicier sauce, add 1-2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes to taste.
- Turn the heat off and let it cool. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for up to a week.
*You don’t have to use duck fat to cook confit. You can use most any oil as long as it has a high smoke point for searing. These include avocado, canola, grapeseed, vegetable and coconut.