Slow roasted crispy guinea fowl, braised leeks, glazed chestnut mushrooms and parsnip puree

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 2 guinea fowl breasts, removed from the fridge a good 30 minutes before cooking to come to temperature
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1 leek, green trimmed, halved, washed
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 100g baby chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 25ml white wine vinegar
  • 50ml moscatel/sweet sherry
  • 2 large (c180g) parsnips, peeled, cut into 2cm pieces
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • butter
  • vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 130C fan/150C electric/gas mark 3

Begin with the guinea fowl

Melt a knob of butter with a splash of olive oil in a medium ovenproof frying pan. WIth the heat on medium, season the guinea fowl with salt and place skin side down. Leave undisturbed for 3 minutes. Check at this point, you want the skin to be a lovely golden brown colour.

At that point add 1 of the cloves of garlic and a few sprigs of thyme. Turn the breasts over for 30 seconds to get a little heat into the breast, then flip back onto the skin side. Place the pan in the oven. Depending on the size of your breasts, cooking will take between 8 and 13 minutes. When ready, rest on a plate somewhere warm. Keep the pan.

Meanwhile place the parsnips into a small saucepan with the coconut milk. Season with a little salt and bring to the boil. Cook until the parsnips are tender and drain, collecting the coconut milk in a bowl as you do so.

Blend the parsnip pieces to a puree adding back in the coconut milk as necessary to create a smooth spoonable paste with the consistency of thick yoghurt. Return to the saucepan and cover with a lid to stay warm.

While the parsnips are coming to the boil and the guinea fowl is roasting, melt a knob of butter in a small frying pan and arrange the leeks cut side down. Season with a little salt and fry over a medium heat until the leeks are beginning to caramalise.

Add just enough stock to submerge the leeks by 1/3. Add the other clove of garlic and a few more sprigs of thyme. Cover with a lid of parchment paper (cartouche) and reduce to a simmer. Braise the leeks gently until cooked. Lift out and set aside until ready to serve. Keep the pan with the stock.

Place the pan from the guinea fowl over a medium heat, you shouldn’t need to add any more fat. Remove the thyme and garlic, add the mushrooms and fry for 1 minute to colour a little. Add the vinegar and reduce away completely, then add the moscatel/sherry. Reduce down to a glaze, stirring regularly.

To plate, briefly return the guinea fowl to the oven and rehear the puree over a gentle heat if necessary. Reduce the stock from the leeks down to a saucy consistency. Smear the puree on the plate, place the guinea fowl on top, mushrooms to the side and lastly the leek. Drizzle with the reduced stock sauce.