Roast supreme of guinea fowl with sherry and grapes
A perfect autumnal dinner party recipe from James Ramsden's lovely book Do Ahead Dinners.
James says: "Guinea fowl remains an inexplicably underused bird – it’s got something of the pheasant about it (but without the propensity to dry out), it’s no more expensive than a decent chicken, and it’s lovely to cook with. So I say we should be cooking with it more.
Supremes are the breasts with the wing still attached. If you can’t find any, then buy two whole guinea fowl and cleave in half down the middle, cooking for 15 minutes longer."
2 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed to a paste
100g/3½oz/7 tbsp butter, softened
salt and pepper
6 supremes of guinea fowl
200ml/7fl oz/generous ¾ cup medium-dry sherry
100ml/3½fl oz/7 tbsp chicken stock
200g/7oz grapes, halved
Up to a day ahead:
Beat the thyme, rosemary and garlic into the butter and season with salt and pepper. Ease the skin of the birds away from the flesh and carefully spread the herb butter underneath the skin. Put in a roasting pan, cover and chill.
2 hours ahead:
Take the guinea fowl out of the fridge.
1 hour ahead:
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6.
Drizzle the guinea fowl with olive oil and roast for 30 minutes, or until the juices run clear when the thickest part is pierced with a thin sharp knife. Remove to a warm place to rest. Put the roasting pan over a high heat and add the sherry, scraping up all the sticky bits in the pan. Simmer for a couple of minutes, then add the stock and the grapes. Simmer for another 5 minutes and taste for seasoning.
Serve the guinea fowl with the grapes and a good spoonful of gravy.
And James's tips for varying the recipe and using up leftovers:
Tart: Bit tarty already, this, though if you feel the urge to wrap the guinea fowl in Parma ham then follow that urge.
Tweak: Roast whole grouse for 12 minutes at 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7 and then follow the same recipe for making the grape gravy.
Tomorrow: Thinly slice leftover guinea fowl and toss through a green salad with a handful of croutons.
What to drink: Although sherry is included in the dish - and would match with it - I don't think most people would expect sherry with their main course. Instead look for a heavyweight white like a grenache gris from the Roussillon or a pinot gris from Alsace. If you want to drink red I'd go for a dark, plummy pinot noir or a medium-bodied modern Spanish red like a young rioja or other tempranillo.
This recipe is from Do-Ahead Dinners by James Ramsden, published by Pavilion. Recipe photography by Yuki Sugiura
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