Roast guinea fowl with vin santo & grapes

Main course: serves 4. Total time: 30 minutes
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Indy Lifestyle Online
Guinea fowl is delicious roasted with grapes and vin santo, a sherry- like wine whose flavour is derived from grapes hung to dry in lofts before fermentation.

125g softened butter
20g rosemary
20g oregano finely chopped
1 garlic clove finely chopped and crushed with salt to a puree
4 x 250g guinea fowl breast and thighs, deboned (your butcher can do this for you)
extra virgin olive oil for frying
80g seedless grapes, peeled
100ml vin santo
200ml guinea fowl stock (like chicken stock, but substitute guinea fowl bones)
125g baby spinach leaves
20 baby potatoes, peeled, diced and sauteed in butter with 2 sage leaves for about 15 minutes
salt and freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F/gas mark 4.

Meanwhile, place the butter in a large bowl and mix in the herbs and garlic. Season well.

Lift the skin from the guinea fowl breasts and thighs, and rub the butter over them, replacing the skin. Warm a large, heavy-based ovenproof frying pan, pour in enough oil to cover the base and add the grapes and guinea fowl.

Seal the guinea fowl pieces on both sides, which should take about 2 minutes. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the guinea fowl for 6-7 minutes, turning halfway through (the skin should still be pink).

Remove pan from oven. Remove breasts and thighs, cutting each thigh into three pieces, and keep warm.

For the sauce, remove excess fat from the pan and deglaze with vin santo over a high heat. Reduce until the alcohol has burnt away. Add the stock and the thigh slices (to increase the flavour) and reduce by half, about 6-7 minutes.

Add the baby spinach leaves and toss until limp, then add the pre-cooked potatoes too. To serve, place some of the sauce in the centre of each plate. Slice each guinea fowl breast into four and then arrange the rest of the sauce on top.

Serve with Chianti.

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