I was going to do another chicken dish, but saw the guinea fowl and was so inspired I used it all. Deboned and stuffed the legs, marinated breast with skin crisps. Another unusual step was to use bulghar wheat rather than rice. It is an amazing grain, much better than couscous or quinoa.
Guinea Fowl: 1, breasts removed, skin separated and reserved. Legs deboned, thighs only. Paxo stuffing, 1tsp Harissa. Tsp of paprika and turmeric.
Bulghar Wheat: 200g bulghar wheat, small bulb fennel,half an onion, 800ml chicken stock, lemon,parsley.
Pomegranate Jelly: 100ml pomegranate molasses, squeeze lemon juice, 1/2 tbsp agar agar. Or 1 sheet gelatine.
Asparagus Tips and Purée: large bunch of asparagus, tips trimmed to three inch pieces, stems reserved. Cream.
1) Heat molasses in a pan with a squeeze of lemon. Add agar agar when it begins to boil. Stir for 3-4 mins until completely dissolved. Otherwise just heat and add gelatine until dissolved if you can’t get agar agar. The difference is that gelatine melts at 35c, agar at 85c. So you can have cubes of intense jelly without the melting. My plate was red hot and I put the jelly on first! Doh. It still has the desired effect though. Set jelly aside to cool and cut into 5mm cubes ready to serve.
2) Marinade breasts with paprika and turmeric as long as you can. To debone legs, cut each side of bone and release flesh at the open end. Continue to scrape meat back until you can reach the joint between thigh and drumstick. Cut between and remove. Open up flesh and flatten slightly. Stuff with Paxo and Harissa mix. Fold thigh back together so that the flesh touches. Secure with cocktail sticks. Place this stick side down.
Heat oven to 180c Fan
3) Put legs in the oven for 30/40 mins until brown and crisp. Remove cocktail sticks afterwards. It will hold.
4) Chop fennel and onion finely, sweat for 5-6 mins. Add bulghar wheat and stock. Bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 15mins until stock is absorbed. It will absorb it all.
5) In a dry pan fry the skins until they brown and go crisp over a medium heat. 10mins. Drain on kitchen paper and season. Then add the breasts and cook for about 5 mins a side.
6) Cook the asparagus stems in a knob of butter for 5mins. Then add a touch of cream, cook until soft. Place in a blender and purée, then pass through a sieve. I didn’t put this on the photo so that you could see the pomegranate jellies. It is delicious though.
7) Add the tips to the chicken pan as you turn the breasts over.
To plate, add a leg on one side of the plate with a compacted round of bulghar wheat. Place asparagus tips either side. Slice breasts in two and place upon bulghar wheat, topped with a skin crisp. Decorate plate with jellies and spoon purée over asparagus.
Critique: If I was served this in a restaurant I would be waxing lyrical. Not only is guinea fowl a great tasting meat, but the different textures of it were a feast for the senses. The leg being the highlight even though it had Paxo stuffing in it! The jellies add amazing bursts of sweetness throughout the dish but complement each part. Bulghar wheat was delicious, note to self, must eat it more often. The asparagus, not being boiled were as good as they get and the purée was very refreshing.