Filet mignon of the sky

Jay and Grady Gunn discuss how wonderfully the last flight of specklebellies worked into their decoys, and eventually into their hands.

All the old jokes about goose recipes — bake in a big pan surrounded by fresh vegetables and, after three hours, throw away the bird and eat the vegetables — simply do not apply to the specklebelly goose.

The tender red meat of specks is so prized by hunters like Jay Gunn that it has earned the nickname “filet mignon of the sky.”

Actually, Gunn said, “specklebelly breast is better than steak.”

This is Gunn’s favorite specklebelly recipe and one his whole family enjoys so much it makes all the hard work of tracking through Delta gumbo mud to hunt the white-fronted goose worthwhile.

Gunn-ed Down Goose


• Goose breasts filleted but whole (save thighs for gumbo)

• Equal amounts Coca-Cola, Italian salad dressing, Moore’s Marinade (can substitute Dale’s).

• Salt and pepper to taste.


Put breast and the liquid ingredients in a gallon-sized sealable plastic bag, seal and marinate refrigerated a minimum of three hours. Remove breast from marinade, saving marinade. Season breast to taste (go lightly with salt since marinade is salty) and allow to come to room temperature. Meanwhile, light a charcoal grill to high heat. Place whole breasts on fire and sear five minutes on each side. Remove breasts to a cutting board beside the grill and slice breasts across the grain in 3/8-inch strips. Dip goose breasts slices in leftover marinade and return to grill, and cook until marinade sizzles. Serve immediately.

If there are leftovers, which is iffy unless done intentionally, Gunn makes a goose dip similar to pâté by putting remaining strips in a food processor and finely chopping on pulse setting. The chopped goose is added to a bowl and mixed with mayonnaise until Gunn reaches desired consistency. The final touch is fresh horseradish added to taste. Serve with crackers.

About Bobby Cleveland 1350 Articles
Bobby Cleveland has covered sports in Mississippi for over 40 years. A native of Hattiesburg and graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi, Cleveland lives on Ross Barnett Reservoir near Jackson with his wife Pam.

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