7 October 2011

Guinea fowl with cabbage and bacon

Ever since making Da Pan Ji way back in June I've had a second guinea fowl in my freezer. Now I'm a big fan of the fowl - to me it's like a farmyard-charged chicken. Not as fully gamed up as pheasant by a long way, but a hint of something beyond the quotidian enjoyment of the much abused chicken.

This recipe is a piece of piss I have to say. It's also really, really nice.
  • one guinea fowl
  • one cabbage
  • two glasses white wine and a bit of water (by eye - about half the amount of wine)
  • some smoked bacon
  • sage and/or bay, juniper berries, peppercorns

Brown your bird in some fat. You can walk around here and do a few odd jobs, just coming back every so often to flip the fowl.

When it's brown add the bacon in biggish pieces. It's really worthwhile using something smoked as this merges with the wine and meat juice to make an amazing light broth.

When this is cooked toss in all the other ingredients. It's nice to keep the cabbage fairly large, but small enough to cook through, so use your judgement here. I lifted the recipe from Ripailles, which suggested sage but I lacked that herb so substituted bay. I think the occasional peppercorn adds a certain pleasurably spicy note to this otherwise deliciously moderate combination.

Cook it all for forth-five minutes to an hour on a low simmer. The bird should stay very moist. Serve with boiled potatoes, a ladle of broth and some wholegrain mustard if feeling exotic.

This dish is that wonderful type of French farmhouse or basic bistro cooking and hits all the right notes - smoked meat, fresh green veg, fowl, wine, herbs. It doesn't get much easier for a top-notch Sunday dinner. I think I prefer this type of thing to a full on roast with all it's greasy crispness, but then I am generally predisposed towards things in liquid or stock.


  1. I'm drooling at your description! Makes me want to be holed up in a cosy little French Farmhouse, tucking into that dinner!

  2. Thanks Catherine. It was pretty delicious and really easy. I think I'm going to try again fairly soon with some carrots and a good quality chicken.