I went shopping at my Go to Butcher in Pforzheim, Mr. Zorn, who has built a 4 pronged business around the original butchery he inherited from his father. He now has a gourmet shop, a place to serve hungry workers in the area with fast snacks and warm daily specials at an affordable price (main courses typically go for €6.50, about $7.00), a restaurant supplier and a wholesale outlet for larger entities.
The Guinea fowl came from a chicken and fowl farm in Alsace, France, that is only about 30 miles away from where we are. This farm also produces Label Rouge produce, which is the highest standard for chicken and other feathered animals worldwide.
Anyway, I separated the parts of the Guinea fowl and sautéed it in butter, browning it in the process. Taking it out of the pan and resting it on a plate, I added a soffrito of celery (stalks), red pepper, and onion (and a clove of garlic), and browned it before adding half a bottle of red Burgundy. After it had cooked a bit, I added a cup of water and kept reducing it, adding salt, pepper, a bay leaf and some thyme.
In the meantime, the brussels sprouts were cooked in salt water until slightly underdone, then removed and splashed with cold water to preserve the color, and potatoes were peeled, quartered, cooked and roasted in butter with the brussels sprouts when everything was ready to be served.
Some dried blueberries as well as some cranberries were added to the sauce, which had been reduced and strained to remove all the solids. These berries sweetened and thickened the sauce a bit.
Guinea fowl is more gamey than chicken, the meat looks more like duck (in terms of redness), but tastes different. The sides are very standard, but tasty, owing the sauce the star quality. It was very good, tasted like Christmas or Thanksgiving and was easy to make. Since I had a whole bird, I didn’t need any stock, I just cooked the carcass (in smaller pieces, with the soffrito, wine and water, about 25 minutes).
So, if you want to try something slightly different and can lay your hands on a guinea fowl, give it a try – its worth it 🙂