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Guinea fowl coq au vin

By April 07, 2017 , , ,

Coq au vin is a good dinner party dish, easy to make and never fails to impress. As with any staple dish in your repertoire, you will start to change it, with this I stayed true to a point and then tried it with guinea fowl which worked quite well. 
Guinea fowl is a small bird with a gamier flavour than chicken. I like this as it doesn't fade into the dish with the red wine sauce. If you prefer your meat a little less gamey then feel free to use chicken instead. I also like to add a small bit of 85% chocolate to enrich the sauce just at the end.

This dish serves 4

1 guinea fowl jointed, ask your butcher to do this
2 shallots roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic finely chopped
100g button mushrooms quartered
50g pancetta or smoked streaky bacon cut into small cubes
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs fresh thyme
400ml red wine (traditionally burgundy is used, try and stick to a light wine, preferably pinot noir for the recipe)
100ml chicken stock
2 pieces 85% chocolate (I use this to help finish the sauce)
20ml oil for frying
Salt and pepper to season

In a heavy based casserole dish, on a low heat fry the shallots and garlic in the oil until soft and translucent
Add the pancetta and fry for at least 7 minutes until it starts to release its fat, you don't want this to get crispy
Remove the ingredients to one side 
Retaining the fat in the pan and turning the heat up high, brown the guinea fowl pieces on each side for 1 minute
Remove the guinea fowl to one side and keeping the heat high, add the wine and allow to boil for about 1 minute, this cooks off the harsh alcohol
Lower the heat and add the onion mix and guinea fowl back to the pan along with the bay leaf, thyme and mushrooms
Place a lid on the pan and cook for 45 mins, you can either cook this on your stove top on a very low heat or I prefer to cook this in the oven at 150c (fan), 160c (normal)
Once the cooking period is finished, take the pan off the heat or out of the oven and allow the meat to rest in the residual heat for about 10 mins before serving

To finish the sauce, remove the guinea fowl to one side and keep warm
Bring the pan up to a high heat for 5 mins and reduce the sauce by half and then lowering the heat add the chocolate and stir till it has been dissolved
Place the guinea fowl back in the pan 
Season to taste before serving

I like to serve this with a rich and creamy mash.

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