The beefy nature of goose legs makes them a good choice for this rich, slightly spicy braise, but duck legs work fine, too. The timing here is very forgiving. This recipe cooks on a stovetop, but you could also braise the meat in a slow cooker or an oven set to about 325 degrees. The key is to simmer the legs until the meat pulls easily from the bone. The luscious secret comes at the end, when the warm meat is tossed in melted fat. The end result is highly adaptable: Wrap it in a warm tortilla, serve it alongside rice and beans with some good salsa, or spoon it atop a bed of sturdy greens and eat it as a salad.
- Serves: 4 persons
- 1large red onion, roughly chopped
- ½cup fresh lime juice (from about 4 limes)
- ½cup apple cider vinegar
- 6garlic cloves
- 4to 6 canned chipotle chiles in adobo or 3 tablespoons adobo sauce
- 1teaspoon ground chipotle or smoked paprika
- 2dried bay leaves
- 1teaspoon ground cumin
- 1teaspoon ground cloves
- 1tablespoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
- 2tablespoons neutral oil, such as vegetable or canola oil
- 6to 8 bone-in goose legs or 12 bone-in duck leg and thigh sections (about 5 pounds), skin removed
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1quart goose, beef or chicken stock
- ¼cup goose fat, duck fat or lard, melted
- Tortillas, rice, beans, avocado, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, queso and tomatoes, for serving
Step 1Combine the onion, lime juice, vinegar, garlic, canned chipotle, ground chipotle, bay leaves, cumin, cloves and 1 tablespoon salt in a blender and purée until smooth.
Step 2Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-high. Season both sides of the goose legs with salt and pepper. Working in batches to avoid overcrowding, cook the goose legs until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Transfer the legs to a large bowl after each batch, covering with plastic wrap, and discard excess fat from the pot after browning all the legs.
Step 3Transfer the legs and any accumulated juices back to the pot. Add the stock and the chile purée and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and cook on low for 2 to 4 hours, checking every 30 minutes after the second hour for tenderness. Remove from heat when the meat is easy to pull off the bone.
Step 4Remove the legs from the pot, transfer to a large bowl and let sit until cool enough to handle. Pull meat from bones into bite-size pieces, discarding the bones and returning the meat to the pot. Stir in the melted fat. Transfer the meat to a serving bowl and add some of the braising liquid, to taste. Season to taste.
Step 5Serve with the extra braising liquid, and any combination of tortillas, rice and beans, and bowls of avocado, sour cream, salsa, lettuce, queso and tomatoes on the side.