I love game and specially guinea fowl which is luckily in season at the moment! So tonight I made a guinea-fowl pot roast: I am a big fan of pot roasting for any bird because it keeps it juicy and tender and there is nothing worse than dry poultry… This one was certainly not dry as I cooked it in chicken stock laced with the rest of Mead (from a few posts ago) and lots of herbs. The young carrots and the turnips came from the organic farmers’ market and they were the inspiration for the recipe because I wanted them whole and fragrant and they make a really nice looking dish. The turnips came out moist and tender having soaked the fragrance of the fennel seeds and star-anis and tasted better than I ever thought turnips could taste.
1 plump guinea fowl (ask your butcher to chop it up in eight portions)
3 big shallots
1 orange, zest and juice
6 young turnips (peeled and chopped in halves)
8 to 10 young carrots (scrubbed and whole)
500ml chicken stock
1 glass of Mead or any sweet pudding wine
pepper and salt
crushed fennel seeds
2 bay leaves
Handful of chopped parsley and chopped coriander
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Fry the chopped shallots with the rapeseed oil in a thick-bottomed pan with a lid. Then brown the meat and season well each of the morsels.
Add the stock, a glass of sweet wine and bring to a boil. Chuck in the herbs and seeds.
Add the turnips and the carrots – the younger and smaller the better so they can be kept whole and dainty. Add the juice of half an orange and its zest.
Bring back to a boil then put in a warm oven and leave covered for 45 min.
Go for a run, admire the sunset or do whatever you fancy while dinner is gently simmering – another reason to LOVE pot-roast!
>I served it as a main dish tonight with a loaf of brown organic bread. With the rain beating down on the windows and the wind outside, it was the most perfect meal to warm up the soul after a cold and wet afternoon. I served myself a glass of Mead with it – but any sweet pudding wine would do to compliment the cinnamon and sweet chestnut undertones of the soup. Do try Mead if you can though: so british and quaint – the National trust shops usually stock it.
Dash of rapeseed oil
1 butternut squash
1 tin of chesnuts (cooked and whole)
Cinnamon, curry powder and 2 cloves
Salt and pepper
2 maggi cubes (or chicken stock) dissolved in 1 litre of boiling water
Squirt of tomato paste
Dash of single cream
Bacon cubes (tossed in a sprinkle of curry powder)
Quickly fry the chopped shallots in some rapeseed oil in a deep casserole dish. Once soft and slightly charred, add the peeled and diced squash, the stock (about 500ml first). Season to taste with the spices, salt and pepper.
Simmer on low heat for about 30mn, then add the rest of the stock and the chesnuts. I use the tins by Clement Faugier and get them from Waitrose.
Squirt out a bit of tomato paste (in tube or tub). Simmer a little longer, then take off the stove and blitz in a blender for a few seconds: The soup should be smooth and creamy and not too liquid.
Serve hot in big bowls with the fried up bacon bits and a nice swirl of single cream.