The closest I have ever come to guinea fowl before now was watching the film, Notting Hill, over and over and over again. There is a part where Julia Roberts, a vegetarian, proclaims to the dinner party host that, “it was the best guinea fowl I’ve ever had”. That has been my limited knowledge of guinea fowl. I had no idea they were about the size of small chickens and white meat. So, what possessed me to grab one at the London Farmers’ Market, I
still cannot understand. A vendor we shop from every time he attends the market was there so we went to stock up for the week and the next thing I knew, I asked for the guinea fowl?!? John, the vendor, excitedly explained that it was like an alternative to chicken but with much more flavour. He cautioned me not to overcook it. Whenever anyone says that to me about something, it causes such anxiety. Obviously, I would not want to overcook it but then it puts a doubt in my mind about the timing. It is like when my maternal grandmother tells me to use enough sage in cornbread dressing but not too much or it will be awful. A bit more guidance like measurements or cooking times are helpful! Though in retrospect, getting it right makes me feel so much more successful than I otherwise would and gives me a bit of an out if the dish fails….
Anyway, I checked several recipes online and prepared it most like this one from BBC Good Food but with a few additions and changes. We were quite pleased with the results.
With the various herbs used in the recipe, it is fitting to enter this post into Lavender and Lovage’s Herbs on Saturday challenge.
1 guinea fowl, 1.3 kg in size
4 carrots, diced
2 parnsips, diced
1 large leek, chopped
8 white mushrooms, quartered
6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp, Whole-grain English mustard
2 tbsp, English mustard
Rosemary, 3 sprigs plus 2 tbsp chopped
Thyme, 5 sprigs with leaves removed
4 bay leaves
125 ml white wine or water
Preheat oven to 160 degrees Celcius. In a large bowl, zest, halve, and juice a lemon. Put the juiced lemon in the cavity of the washed guinea fowl. Add sprigs of rosemary, garlic cloves, salt and pepper and place guinea fowl in a roasting dish. Salt and pepper the top of the guinea fowl and place in the preheated oven.
Whilst guinea fowl is cooking, in bowl of lemon juice and zest, add mustards, 2 tbsp chopped rosemary, thyme, 3 tbsp of olive oil. Mix dressing and add chopped vegetables.
After 30 minutes of cooking, remove the guinea fowl and add vegetables and bay leaves to the dish. Add 125 ml of white wine or water. Put guinea fowl back in the oven for 45 minutes, covering after 15 minutes.
Remove guinea fowl and cover with foil to keep warm.
Turn oven up to 180 degress Celcius and return vegetables to oven for 15 minutes.
Cut guinea fowl as you would a whole chicken. Serve with vegetables and maybe a bottle of White Burgundy. Enjoy!