Guinea Fowl

guinea fowl

August 13th, 2012

Guinea fowl are a West African game bird that has been domesticated and farmed in Europe since the sixteenth century. They are a fairly mild tasting bird, with a flavour somewhere between chicken and partridge. These birds are foragers and unlike chicken, will happily root out bugs, performing good pest control around plants and vegetables without causing damage.

The butcher was doing a special offer last week – Guinea fowl for £3 each, so how could I resist…

oven ready

Nutritionally, Guinea fowl are high in protein, vitamin B6, selenium and niacin – they are also low in cholesterol and fat. However, when cooking that does mean it’s normal to add fat for flavour to stop the bird drying out, just like other game.

Guinea fowl can be roasted like chicken, or braised in a casserole. I roasted mine with half a lemon, a small onion, 6 pieces of garlic, a knob of butter and a sprig of thyme stuffed inside, along with a little sea salt and cracked black pepper. I wrapped the bird in streaky bacon and poured a glass of red wine and a splash of red wine vinegar into the dish.

fowl roast

Heat the oven to full and reduce the temperature to 180ºC when the Guinea fowl goes in. Baste every 20 minutes and remove the bacon when it goes crispy, at about an hour. Put the bird back into the oven until the skin goes golden brown (20 – 30 minutes). You can check to see if it’s done by sticking a fork into the meat (in a couple of places) – the juices run clear when it’s cooked.

The lemon gave a wonderful citrus flavour to the meat and made the kitchen smell fantastic while cooking. Serve with seasonal vegetables (don’t forget to chop up the bacon to go with them) and do make gravy with the juices!

I washed my supper down with a glass of red, El Rastro, Tempranillo from Spain.

About Mad Dog
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23 Responses to Guinea Fowl

  1. Conor Bofin says:

    Looks excellent. I approve of the methodology. I should keep my eye out for them. However, anything out of the ordinary in poultry costs and arma and a leg here in Ireland.

    • Mad Dog says:

      Thanks Conor – I’m very lucky that my butcher does wholesale meat to restaurants and goes to Smithfield on a daily basis. He’s very good at picking up things with a short sell by date cheap and then passes the savings on to his customers. I get the most fantastic bargains 😉

  2. rutheh says:

    I like the wine accompaniment!

  3. I love guinea fowl, so tasty, and you’ve done the bird proud with this lovely recipe.

  4. Audrey says:

    How big are these birds ? is it one bird per person ?

  5. Michelle says:

    I adore guinea fowl and your recipe looks great! It’s funny. My grandparents always had guineas, but apparently nobody ever thought about eating them. We talked about getting some a few years back, but then my mother reminded me of the loud and rather annoying “Pot Rack” call and so we decided against it.

  6. ChgoJohn says:

    I bet your home has all kinds of fowl wandering about its perimeter. They’ve sought you out. If they’re going to go anyway, they might as well do it in style and being main course at your house is certainly going out in style!

    • Mad Dog says:

      Ha ha – some years ago I made Christmas Pudding Vodka which had a lot of fruit soaked in it. All of the fruit was removed before bottling and I did have a crazy idea about making a trail for a large flock of ducks, hoping they’d all be falling asleep when they reached the end of the trail. I don’t know where I got the idea from, but it does sound a bit Bugs Bunny 😉

  7. Guinea fowl is such a surprisingly fantastic bit of poultry. Such a fantastic job Mad.

  8. Tessa says:

    Looks delicious! I love that you roasted it with strips of bacon.

  9. I love that you cook such unusual dishes.. like this guinea fowl. It gives me courage to step “outside the box” and experiment with something new!

  10. You know, I am thinking that the streaky bacon would be the right solution for our heritage birds from the CSA. They are delicious – much more savory than a factory-farmed bird — but we are always looking for ways to up the moisture. Thanks!

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