My favourite poultry suppliers often bring guinea fowl with them to the market. They have been tickling my fancy for a while now, but I haven’t known what to do with them. When getting to know a new meat, I like to do something relatively simple, so I can truly learn its texture and taste. I thought about preparing them French style. Conscious of an expected gamey flavour, I wanted to balance that with some fresh and fruity sweetness, so I sought inspiration from Normandy. I stuffed the bird with softened leeks, diced apple and almond meal. I made a beautiful creamy sauce in the roasting pan. I wanted to make it with calvados, and would still recommend you do it this way, but I didn’t have any, so I used some pear brandy I have in the cupboard and a little apple wine for added flavour. If you were really stuck I guess you could use apple cider. I carved the little bird at the table and served it with the sauce, a good scoop of the stuffing, roast beetroot and potato and some green beans. It was truly spectacular. I only carved up the leg and breast meat, and have saved the carcass to make pasta with later in the week. I really suggest you try this, it was something very special.
|1||very small leek|
|1||very small apple|
|1/2||teaspoon||fresh thyme leaves**|
* Replace with 1 juniper berry and 3 peppercorns.
** If you can’t get any fresh thyme, you can replace with a small pinch of dried thyme.
|cooking pan and juices from the guinea fowl|
Over a low heat, melt two teaspoons of butter in a small saucepan that has a lid. Cut the white part of the leek into a small dice and add to the saucepan, cover with the lid. Stir or shake the saucepan occasionally. Peel, quarter and remove the core from the apple. Dice the fruit the same as the leek. Once the leek wilts, and as he liquid begins to dry up, add the apple to the saucepan and replace the lid. Crush the pepperberries in a mortar and pestle. When the apple has softened slightly, turn off the heat and add the pepperberries, thyme leaves and almond meal. Allow the stuffing to cool.
Preheat the oven to 170oC. Stuff the guinea fowl. In an oven proof frying pan, or small stove proof casserole dish, melt two teaspoons of butter on a medium heat. Brown the bird all over. Turn the bird so it sits in the pan breasts up and roast for an hour or till juices run clear when you skewer behind the thigh. Remove the bird from the pan and set aside on a plate in a warm place.
To make the sauce, put the cooking pan on a medium heat on the stove. Add the calvados and any resting juices from the guinea fowl. Simmer for about 5 minutes and ignite the pan to burn of any remaining alcohol. Add the cream and simmer till the sauce thickens. Strain the sauce into a serving dish. Transfer the guinea fowl to a serving plate garnished with slices of apple. Carve the legs and breast meat. Serve with the sauce, roasted beetroot and potatoes and steamed green beans. Bon appétit!