Saturday, December 24, 2011

French Cooking at Christmas!

Merry Christmas Eve my friends.
I present to you the lovely Andi from Misadventures with Andi, 
sharing with us today a delicious recipe for a traditional French meal! 

Pintade (Guinea Fowl) au Vin

Coq au Vin is the quintessential French dinner meal, but coq meaning rooster can actually be quite tough so it is actually made with chicken or a chapon which is a breed of very large chicken, but chez moi we also use pintade, or guinea fowl which I love.  It is perfect for two people and has a gamier taste.

3.5 lbs. guinea fowl cut into large pieces
16 oz of red wine, preferably Burgandy (Bourgogne)
 ½ oz (10 g) butter
 1 Tbsp olive oil
 ½ cup cubed pancetta
 12 shallots, peeled
 2 sprigs fresh thyme
 1 bay leaf
 1 clove garlic, crushed
 1 cup of mushrooms grilled in large pieces
 1 heaped teaspoon corn starch
 Salt and freshly milled black pepper to taste

First, melt the butter with the oil in a casserole dish or skillet (like a Crueset) and then fry the guinea fowl, skin down, until they are golden brown. Then turn them over and brown the other side. Total time should be about 8-10 minutes altogether.
Now brown the pancetta for 5 minutes, followed by the shallots. Return the guinea fowl to the casserole dish, add the sprigs of thyme and the bay leaf, then the crushed garlic. Season with freshly pepper and just a little salt, and then pour in the wine. Put a lid on and simmer over a very gentle heat for 45 minutes.
After that, add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 15 minutes. Then remove the guinea fowl, pancetta, shallots and mushrooms to a warm serving dish and keep warm.
Discard the herbs, bring the liquid in the casserole up to a fast boil and reduce by about one third. In a small bowl, mix the corn starch to a paste with a little water, then add a little bit of the sauce from the casserole. Now add all the mixture to the rest of the liquid and bring to the boil, whisking all the time until the sauce has thickened.
Pour the sauce over the guinea fowl and serve, we like it with either mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

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