It looks like autumn has finally set in. As I type, it’s raining outisde, the leaves of my cherry tree are finally turning, and there’s a different kind of chill in the air that wasn’t there last week (even on those days I had to throw on a sweater before walking Pastis). It’s the kind of chill that definitely announces the end of summer and makes you want to do things like light the fireplace, drink hearty red wines, fill the house with the glow of candles, sip hot apple tea and cook seriously delicious, stick-to-the ribs food. Food infused with a variety of warming spices and rich flavors.
There’s nothing like the robust aroma and comforting element of a beautifully cooked stew served with a good helping of creamy mashed potatoes and a nice bottle of wine. One of my favorite recipes at this time of year is my Burgundian-style guinea fowl. A perfect dish for the weekend of for a weekday indulgence. Yes, there’s a bit of work involved, but trust me, the results are definitely worth it. Keep warm in the months ahead and enjoy this meal!
Burgundian-Style Guinea Fowl
- good knob of butter
- 2 tsps mild olive oil
- 1 handsome guinea fowl, jointed
- salt (preferably fleur de sel) and freshly-cracked pepper
- 100g lardons
- 4 shallots, chopped
- 2 fat cloves of garlic, pressed
- 300ml red wine, preferably a Pinot Noir from Burgundy
- 100ml port
- 150ml water
- few sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
- 250g chestnut mushrooms, quartered
- 3 tbsps cream
Heat the butter and the oil, and brown the pieces of guinea fowl over a medium-high heat, seasoning them well as you go. Do this is batches and do not crowd that pan! Transfer the browned pieces to a heavy-bottomed casserole. Lower the heat a bit, get rid of some of the remaining fat and cook the lardons, shallots and garlic for about five minutes. Start adding the liquids bit by bit, stirring as you go. First the wine, then the port, then the water. Pour this sauce over the casserole with the guinea fowl, season with the chopped rosemary and a little more salt and pepper. Bring everything to a brief boil, reduce the heat, cover and allow to simmer for forty minutes. Add the chestnut mushrooms and allow to cook for a further eight minutes with the lid slightly ajar. Remove the guinea fowl from the sauce and add the cream. Let the sauce reduce slightly over a medium-high heat. Serve the guinea fowl with the sauce, a side of mustardy mashed potatoes and the same Pinot Noir used in the stew.