Roast guinea fowl with fennel, shallot and white wine sauce
- December 2023
- Serves 4
- Hands-on time 30 min. Oven time Up to 2 hours
This guinea fowl roast with thyme butter, bacon and a rich white wine sauce serves four, making it a special roast for a smaller gathering.
Guinea fowl are slightly gamier and richer in flavour than chicken and, unlike other Christmas birds, they’re not so prone to drying out. Leftovers are great used for sandwiches, ragùs or shepherd’s pies. Recipe taken from Ginger Pig Christmas Cook Book by Tim Wilson and Rebecca Seal (Mitchell Beazley £25) and tested by delicious.
Looking for Christmas inspiration? Plan the perfect menu with more festive recipes for four.
- 15g (14g sugars)
- 8 banana shallots, peeled and halved lengthways
- ½ small fennel bulb, trimmed and sliced widthways
- 3 garlic cloves, unpeeled
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- 2 tbsp salted butter, softened
- 2 small guinea fowl, about 1kg each (or a 2kg guinea fowl)
- 4 smoked back bacon rashers
- 10 pitted prunes, halved
- 350ml white wine
- 150ml chicken stock
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ tsp dijon mustard
- 4 tbsp double cream
- Squeeze lemon juice
- 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
- Heat the oven to 160°C fan/gas 4. Choose a snug roasting tin for the guinea fowl. Arrange the shallots in the bottom, cut sides up. Top with the fennel and garlic cloves, keeping it all as well nestled together as possible so the vegetables under the bird/s cook slowly in the juices and wine, rather than burning.
- Mix the thyme with half the butter. Loosen the skin around each guinea fowl neck cavity and push the herbed butter under it, massaging it along the meat. Rub the remaining butter all over the bird/s. Drape the bacon over the breasts and put the halved prunes into each cavity. Put the bird/s on top of the veg, then pour in the wine and stock. Season with salt and pepper, then drizzle with the olive oil.
- Roast for 22 minutes per 500g, plus 15-20 minutes, using the liquid in the tin to baste the meat a couple of times. If the bacon slides off, don’t worry, just put it back – it’s not really protecting the meat, just adding flavour. If the bacon starts to really darken, push it into the liquid in the pan.
- Check the meat is done as you would for a chicken: pierce a leg at the thickest part and check the juices run clear. If not, return to the oven for a few more minutes. Once cooked through, lift the bird/s from the tin and put on a carving plate. Remove the prunes, roughly chop them, then set aside. Loosely cover the bird/s with foil and leave to rest.
- Put the roasting tin on the hob and bring the liquid to a simmer. If there’s a lot, reduce it for a few minutes to intensify the flavour. Remove the garlic cloves and squeeze the soft garlic from the skins, then mash into the sauce. Crumble the bacon into the sauce too, discarding any rind, then stir in the mustard. Stir in the cream, simmer for a couple more minutes, then add a squeeze of lemon juice and season to taste. Carve the meat from the bird/s. Add the prunes and parsley to the sauce, then spoon the sauce over the meat.
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