Guinea Fowl au Vin
This is more or less my long-loved recipe for Coq au Vin, but made with guinea fowl. As guinea fowl is smaller than chicken, one bird will feed only two people – but what a feast!
|1 x 3½ lb (1.6 kg) guinea fowl, jointed into 8 pieces|
|1 pint (570 ml) red wine|
|½ oz (10 g) butter|
|1 dessertspoon oil|
|1 x 130 g pack cubetti pancetta|
|12 shallots or button onions, peeled|
|2 sprigs fresh thyme|
|1 bay leaf|
|1 clove garlic, crushed|
|6 oz (175 g) dark-gilled mushrooms|
|1 heaped teaspoon arrowroot|
|salt and freshly milled black pepper|
|Need help with conversions?|
|You will also need a shallow, flameproof casserole, wide enough to take the joints in one layer, with a well-fitting lid.|
This recipe first appeared in Sainsbury’s Magazine.
First, melt the butter with the oil in the casserole and, keeping the heat fairly high, fry the guinea fowl joints, skin down, until they are a good golden brown. Then turn them over and brown the other side, which should take about 8-10 minutes altogether. You will have to do this in two batches, so, as they brown, remove the joints with a draining spoon and keep to one side.
Now brown the pancetta for 5 minutes, followed by the shallots. Then return the guinea fowl to the casserole, tuck in the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf, then add the crushed garlic. Now season with freshly milled black pepper and just a little salt, then pour in the wine. Put a lid on and simmer over a very gentle heat for 45 minutes. After that, add the mushrooms (whole if they are not too large, otherwise chopped) and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Then remove the guinea fowl, pancetta, shallots and mushrooms to a warm serving dish and keep warm.
Now discard the herbs, bring the liquid in the casserole up to a fast boil and reduce by about one third. Next, mix the arrowroot to a paste with a little water, then add a little of the hot sauce. Now add all the arrowroot mixture to the rest of the liquid and bring to the boil, whisking all the time until the sauce has thickened. Pour the sauce over the guinea fowl and serve – it's lovely with creamy mashed potatoes.
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It's no surprise that this lovely French classic has stood the test of time: perfect for a supper party or Sunday lunch. Try to make it the day before so the full flavours can develop.
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