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Author Notes: Guinea fowl with mascarpone is definitely one of my favourite dishes: it’s so delicious (and I’m so addicted to it) that I often serve it when I have guests at home. And every time it’s a triumph! I personally love to cook it, because when I do, all the house smells like butter and cinnamon and I adore it!
I found this recipe in one of my English aunt's cookbooks. It was the English translation of a book written by an Italian chef whose name unfortunately I can't remember (too many years have passed...). I think it slightly differs from the traditional recipe used in Northern Italy: to me this is special, anyway. According to this Italian chef, at the end of cooking, you should cut the guinea fowl into pieces and process the cooking vegetables and juices to a purée to be spooned over the bird. Personally, I leave the guinea fowl as a whole (I cut it only after guests have seen it in its splendor…) and leave the vegetables chopped, to be served as a sort of a side dish (or accompany sauce, as you prefer).
As I was gently asked to post this recipe, here it is. —Rita Banci
- 1 guinea fowl
- freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons mascarpone (but I add some more)
- 2 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 small onion or 1 shallot, peeled and cut into pieces
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into pieces
- 2 celery stalks, cut into pieces
- 3-4 cloves
- a pinch of ground cinnamon
- 120 milliliters dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons white rum
- Heat the oven to 200°C/400°F.
- Singe the guinea fowl and remove as many of the stubborn quills as you can (if you buy at the supermarket, they're probably already cleaned). Wash and dry it thoroughly inside and out. Season with salt and pepper and spoon the mascarpone into the cavity.
- Choose an oval flameproof casserole in which the bird will sit snugly. Put the butter, onion, carrot, celery, cloves and cinnamon into it and sprinkle with salt. Place the guinea fowl on the vegetables and pour over the wine and the rum.
- Place the casserole on the heat and bring the liquid slowly to boil. Cover tha pan and place in the oven. Cook for about 1 to 1 1/4 hours, until the bird is tender.