For a fancy dinner or if you want a smaller piece than capon or Turkey at Christmas, this recipe is full of flavors with dried fruits and lovely spices.
I imagined this recipe thinking of all the flavours of Christmas we like to have in France : Christmas jam with different fruits and spices, gingerbread and christmas cookies, chocolate mendiants with fruits and nuts… I wanted to have this atmosphere at each bite, warm and elegant, of this both festive and family-friendly dish. Ideal for a fancy dish or even to serve at Thanksgiving or Christmas if you want a smaller poultry than the classic turkey or capon.
Guinea flow is a black and white speckled bird which was first imported to Europe by the Portuguese in the sixteenth century. It was quickly adopted by French, who nowadays tend to associate it to festive meals. No surprise you often find guinea flow dishes for Christmas or big occasions in France.
Guinea flow’s meat is somewhere between chicken and pheasant, with a mild gamey flavour. As for the cooking method, roast or braise in a stew as you would do for chicken. As those birds are generally a bit smaller than chicken, cooking time is shorter.
A few information on the recipe:
Ask the butcher to cut the guinea fowl. You will then have different types of pieces : breast, wings… Breasts are not added at the beginning because they cook faster.
I chose ground spices with fantastic flavours without being hot and spicy : cinnamon, which is my idea of Christmas spices, turmeric, good for your health, and cumin in equal proportions. You may add a bit of 4 spices blend or nutmeg, depending on your taste or what you have on hand.
I’m not sure 4 spices blend is well known out of France so here are the proportions: 1 tablespoon white pepper, 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 teaspoon ground ginger, 1 teaspoon grated nutmeg
If you don’t have fresh ginger, replace it with ground ginger.
As the dried fruits, I mainly chose dried apricots and prunes with a bit of raisins and figs.
Dark chocolate at the end of the cooking process gives roundness to the dish even if you do not feel the taste of chocolate. Don’t worry if you don’t have any, it can be optional.
This dish can easily be prepared in advance and reheated. It can also be cooked in the oven at low temperature (120°C / 250°F).
You can prepare this recipe with chicken, whole chicken cut in pieces or chicken wings.
Guinea Fowl with Dried Fruits and Spices
- 1 guinea fowl cut in pieces
- 1 cm fresh ginger if not 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- to taste nutmeg or 4 spices
- 1 star anise
- 12 dried apricots
- 12 prunes
- 1 handful raisins
- 1 handful dried fig
- 2 shallots or onions
- 2 cloves garlic
- 3 chunks dark chocolate
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 nut butter
- to taste salt and pepper
- Peel and mince ginger, garlic and shallots. Prepare the spices by combining them in a bowl. Heat some water.
- Heat oil and butter in a casserole dish. Sauté guinea flow pieces on all sides for about 5 minutes, a bit less for breasts. Remove the pieces of meat. Throw in the pan ginger, garlic and shallot. Sear for a few minutes then add the ground spices (cinnamon, turmeric, cumin and 4 spices or nutmeg), star anise, salt. Stir and leave for a few more minutes.
- Place guinea fowl back in the pan (except breasts that you will add later), stir again so that the pieces of meat will be coated with spices.
- Pour hot water upt to ⅔ rd of the height of the meat. Let gently simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Add the dried fruits and the breasts then continue cooking for another 30 minutes.
- Just before the end of cooking time, add the chocolate they will melt in the juice. Check If meat is well cooked meat, taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
The main steps : Sauté meat with the spices, moist with water and cook. Add the dried fruits halfway.
Bon appétit !