Guinea Fowl with Chestnuts and Bacon. In France guinea fowl is readily available, even at the small supermarket in L’Absie so it’s not too posh here! In fact it is often eaten at Christmas as French people don’t do huge turkey dinners, preferring lots of courses. If you haven’t tried it before it is very similar to chicken with perhaps a slightly stronger taste so this dish would work perfectly with chicken joints or rabbit too.
I think it looks a bit like a skinny chicken! Whichever meat you use this recipe is very simple.
I used chestnuts from foraging last year that I had frozen but you can buy ready prepared ones in tins or vacuum packed. There’s no need to chop.
Start by frying the guinea fowl in butter and oil for a few minutes each side until well coloured.
Transfer to a large casserole dish, (I used a large shallow one), and then fry the shallots, bacon and chestnuts. Transfer to the dish with a slotted spoon.
There should be lots of buttery juices in the pan so tip in some flour over a medium heat and cook for a minute before adding chicken stock and dry white wine.
Bring it to the boil and pour into the dish. It will seem quite thick but will thin out as the onions and guinea fowl cooks and it will save you time later.
Pop in a bouquet garni. It’s very easy to make your own if you have herbs in the garden. I used a square of muslin and popped in some rosemary, bay leaf and parsley. Here in France you can buy them in the vegetable section and they typically include dried thyme and a bayleaf. Cover and cook for one and a half hours until the meat is tender.
Sprinkle over some chopped parsley and serve with some crispy roast potatoes.
What’s your favourite winter warmer?
- 4 guinea fowl legs
- 12 shallots peeled
- 200 g smoked lardons
- 150 g prepared chestnuts
- 1 bouquet garni
- 150 ml dry white wine
- 450 ml chicken stock
- 1 tbsp butter
- drizzle of oil
- 2 tbsp flour
- Chopped parsley to serve
- Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C.
- Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan and brown the guinea fowl for a few minutes each side and transfer to a lidded casserole.
- Add the shallots, bacon and chestnuts until golden and transfer to the dish with a slotted spoon.
- Stir in the flour to the butter and cook for a minute before adding the wine and stock to make a thick sauce. Season to taste.
- Transfer the sauce to the dish and add the bouquet garni before covering and cooking for 1h 30mins or until the meat is tender.
- Sprinkle with parsley to serve.