If you're in the market for a different kind of holiday dish to present to your loved ones this holiday season, look no further as we've got you covered. Italian holiday meals love to incorporate unusual meats and ingredients that aren't so frequently during the calendar year, and guinea fowl is no different.
While typically available at our local butcher's shop year round, special requests have to be made, and although not impossible, it can be an undertaking.
This is why we love serving Guinea Fowl recipes during holiday time - our friends and loved ones love eating out of the ordinary, which is just what this exquisite second course recipe guarantees. A fattier meat, guinea fowl's intense aromas are starkly held in check thanks to the tang of pomegranate seeds.
Shallots bring a mellow sweetness to this classic Italian meat recipe, and while it might surprise you, guinea fowl is filled with excellent nutrients and healthy fats. So cook away and eat up with a clear conscience - this is one meat that you can savor all the way.
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Prepare Shallot base
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in an heavy cast iron pan. When heated, add shallots (whole with skins removed). Allow shallots to sauté slowly and gently for about 10 minutes, adding a pinch of salt after a few moments of cooking. Mix occasionally to avoid scorching. Let shallots soften, then add a pinch of brown sugar and cook a couple of minutes longer to caramelize the shallots lightly.
Remove shallots from the pan, being sure to take out all of the released cooking juices, which will need to be set aside until the meat has browned (see below).
Cook the Guinea Fowl
Using the same the same pan, add 2 tbsp of olive oil, and when heated, add the guinea fowl.
Add bay leaves and thyme sprigs and sauté on medium-high heat for about 6-7 minutes. Let the meat brown evenly, put shallots and their cooking juice back in the pan and season with salt and pepper.
Add wine and let alcohol evaporate. Add half of the pomegranate juice, and few tablespoons of water. Cover and cook on low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
The meat should remain moist all the time, so keep basting with the cooking juice in your pan.
Should it get too dry, add more pomegranate juice while cooking.
Complete the Dish and Serve
After 30-40 minutes, remove lid and if needed, allow the cooking juices to thicken a bit. Serve with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and fresh bay leaves.