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Last weekend was Thanksgiving here in Canada – even though I’m not a huge fan of turkey (although my BBQ has been changing that opinion) Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and the one I most wish I could be home for. Really what’s not to love.. it is the first long weekend of the academic year, the leaves at home are usually peaking with striking reds and oranges and vibrate yellows, the evenings are chilly enough for a fire, and there is pecan pie! Seeing as I’m about 5000 kms from home it isn’t really that feasible of a weekend getaway. In past years we’ve had Thanksgiving dinner with friends and with all the trimmings, but this year we decided to keep it smaller and pass on the turkey. Instead I decided to roast a guinea fowl…

To me a guinea fowl seems very traditional or classic, however apparently (or at least according to The Times of London) it is experiencing a resurgence thanks to celebrity chefs and  “…a desire to return to the truer flavours of yesteryear”. But let’s be honest I’m sure it’s due to foodies like you and I who like the challenge and idea of cooking something other than your standard chicken.  If you do decided to try guinea fowl.. or already have I’m sure you will agree.. it will be hard to go back to a plain old roast chicken. Guinea fowl has a milder taste and a nicer texture to chicken, it certainly didn’t have an overtly gamey taste like I was expecting.  The legs appeared almost black, which caused me some uncertainty but the men around the table all loved the dark meat!

I decided to keep it fairly simple adapting a recipe for Roast Guinea Fowl with Lemon and Rosemary.  Most of the adaptation was for the sweet and sour gravy (which was amazing!!) as I was running short on time and didn’t have 30 mins to caramelize the shallots.  Also what is missing from the recipe is the internal cooking temperature of 180F, which I always like to know when cooking something new.

I served with mashed potatoes/parsnips, candy stripped beet chips, and roasted cauliflower…

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Sweet and Sour Gravy

  1. Remove bird from roasting pan, set aside covered in foil to rest.
  2. Place roasting pan over medium heat on store top.  Add 1 tbsp of olive oil, 1 tbsp of butter, and 2/3 (depending on size) shallots halved. Stirring occasionally till the shallots of softened about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 tbsp finely chopped rosemary, stir.
  4. Add 75 ml of good quality balsamic vinegar.
  5. Add 600 ml of chicken stock and bring to a low boil.
  6. Whisk in gravy flour to thicken, then simmer for 10 mins.
  7. Season with pepper and salt if necessary

This is my first time adding balsamic vinegar to gravy but will definitely not be my last!!

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