Roasted Guinea Fowl (Pintade) with White Asparagus and Parsley Potatoes
Weekends, especially Friday evenings, are usually when I devote myself to cooking big meals that are slightly more complicated and slightly more elevated than the weekday standbys. Fridays are often the best times for this, as that’s when our local farmers market takes place. I typically do my store shopping for staples (OJ, toilet paper, milk, etc.) on Thursdays (and I often get good deals on meat at the supermarket), but most of my shopping takes place on Friday mornings where I can get the freshest ingredients–meats, cheeses, veggies, etc.
This past week, our local supermarket (not to be confused with our normal poultry vendor at the farmers market) had guinea fowl on sale. Called pintade, these miraculous birds resemble chicken, but often have a yellower hue to their skin and fat. Their taste is similar, but gamier and more intense. It’s more chicken-y than chicken, if you can imagine that. They tend to be slightly smaller, and I’ve read they have less fat, but let me tell you: The fat they have is just as delicious.
They’re quite beautiful birds, too.
Anyway, now that spring is officially here, we’re seeing all kinds of new and wonderful things at the farmers market. These past two weeks have included asparagus. Depending on where you live, asparagus can get pricey (ours certainly weren’t cheap, but I decided to forgo eating out last week, so I felt it was o.k. to buy them). There really is nothing better than truly fresh asparagus. They’re woody and “green” tasting, and when cooked right, they just pop in your mouth like few other veggies can. Add to them fresh green onions, and you’ve got a winning spring treat.
Below is my recipe for the roasted guinea fowl (pintade) and roasted white asparagus. I borrowed the asparagus recipe from my friend Dara Bunjon, who cooked this with my daughter and now it’s the only way she’ll eat asparagus.
Roasted guinea fowl (pintade) with white asparagus and parsley potatoes
Roasted Guinea Fowl
- 1 1.5 – 2 pound guinea fowl
- 3 tablespoons butter at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
- 1 medium-sized shallot diced
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- Juice of one lemon
- 4-5 large bulb green onions, greens removed (but save them for the asparagus)
- 1 cup white wine
- salt & pepper to taste
- 1 bunch of white asparagus (about 1.5 – 2 pounds)
- 2 teaspons butter
- green parts from green onions
- 2-3 teaspoons orange zest
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper to taste
Roasted Guinea Fowl
- Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C.
- In a bowl combine butter, thyme, mustard, shallot, garlic, and 1/2 lemon juice. Use spoon to soften butter and mix well.
- Loosen skin around breast. With a sharp knife, make an incision on each side where the legs meet the lower part of the breast.
- Using your fingers, carefully work approximately 2/3rds of the butter mixture in between the skin and the meat of the breast, as well as in the leg incisions.
- Use remaining butter mixture to coat outside of breast and legs.
- Squeeze second half o lemon over bird. Add salt & pepper outside to taste.
- Melt approximately 1 teaspoon of butter in frying pan. Lightly brown onion bulbs on each side.
- Place onion bulbs into baking dish, along with the guinea fowl. Add wine to pan.
- Roast guinea fowl for approximately 90 minutes, basting every 20 – 30 minutes. Cover breast with tin foil if it appears to be getting too dry.
- For final 10 minutes, turn oven temperature up to 400 to crisp up the skin (remove tin foil if needed).
- When bird hits 150 degrees F internally (check both breast and thighs), remove from oven and let rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
- Drain any juices from bird and pan into small saucepan. Reduce over medium-high heat about halfway.
- After the bird has rested, carve as you would a chicken:
- Remove legs & thighs.
- Remove wings.
- Cut across lower portion of breast.
- Cut next to the breastbone.
- Place carved bird and onions on serving dish. Drizzle reduced juices over plate and serve.
- Fill saucepan up about 2/3rds of the way with water. Boil on high.
- Wash asparagus under cold water, removing any sandy pieces. Trim bottom quarter or third of stalks, removing the tougher, woodier bottoms.
- Starting about an inch below the head of each stalk, gently peel the skin off, removing the tougher parts but leaving as much of the stalk in tact.
- When water is boiling, place asparagus in saucepan and boil for approximately 3-5 minutes until tender-crisp. Remove, drain and run under cold water to stop them from cooking further.
- Line flat baking pan with tin foil. Place asparagus on pan, spreading them out so none overlap.
- Add green stalks from green onions.
- Drizzle with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle orange zest over asparagus on onion greens; salt and pepper to taste.
- Place directly under broiler on high for 5-7 minutes, or until browned.
- Remove and serve.
- Fill saucepan 2/3rds with water and boil.
- Rinse potatoes and dice.
- Add to boiling water and boil until soft. Drain.
- Return to saucepan over medium-low heat. Add butter and parsley. Stir until butter melts and parsley is well-distributed over potatoes.
- Add salt & pepper to taste and serve.
- 11 x 17 inch deep roasting pan
- 10 inch frying pan
- 2 five-quart saucepans
- Small saucepan
- Vegetable peeler
- 11 x 17 inch flat roasting pan
As always, if you try this recipe, snap a photo or photos and tag them on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram with #eatfrenchclub.
Oh, and don’t worry about leftovers (if you have any). Guinea fowl makes excellent soup (receipe coming later).