Guinea fowl is a delicious bird and makes a great alternative to chicken . It has a great flavour that is subtly gamey unlike pheasant or grouse.

The guinea fowl is native to West Africa and is also known to have been a part of the diet of the ancient Egyptians. Historians have found it in Roman mosaics but it did not become widely eaten in Europe until the Portuguese began importing the birds from Guinea (their colony) in the sixteenth century.

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Guinea fowl then spread quickly across western and northern Europe and have been reared for the table in this country since Elizabethan times.

Guinea fowl are an important food throughout much of Africa, south of the Sahara, and are found in every region of the world. France, Belgium and Italy are amongst the largest producers in Europe.

Guinea Fowl ‘Coq au Vin’ with Smoked Bacon

Ingredients

50g butter
12 baby onions (peeled and left whole)
150g button mushrooms (left whole)
50g flour (browned)
1 whole Guinea Fowl (jointed)
150g smoked bacon (cut into lardons)
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
250ml red wine250ml brown chicken stock
½ bunch of chopped parsley
2 x bay leaf
Sprig of fresh thyme

Method

• Pre heat a large pan, add a little olive oil, dust the flour onto a plate, then coat the seasoned Guinea Fowl pieces, place into the pre heated pan, colour on one side then turn add the butter and continue to colour until golden brown

• Add the baby onions, bacon and garlic and continue cooking for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms, bay leaf and thyme.

• Add the red wine and stock, bring to the boil, cover and place into a pre heated oven (180’c) for approximately 1 hour

To Serve

Remove the casserole dish from the oven
Sprinkle with parsley and serve with creamed mashed potatoes