Roast guinea fowl with croutons

  • serves 3
  • Easy

Guinea fowl is like a smaller, more flavourful chicken and is the perfect size for feeding 2-3 people. Roast a whole one with herby pancetta croutons and serve with buttered cabbage for a smart weekend lunch without the fuss.



  • guinea fowl 1.2kg
  • butter 25g, chilled
  • rosemary 3 sprigs
  • walnut halves 50g
  • olive oil 1 tbsp
  • rindless smoked streaky bacon or pancetta 85g piece, cut into lardons
  • garlic 4 good hard cloves, peeled and cut into paper thin slivers
  • good white bread 3 thick slices, crusts removed
  • lemon ½, zested
  • curly parsley a good handful, finely chopped
  • medium sherry 100ml
  • sherry vinegar a good splash
  • sugar 1 tsp


  • Step 1

    Heat the oven to 190c/fan 170c/gas 5. Put the guinea fowl in a small roasting tin and rub all over with half the softened butter. Season well with salt and a few twists of black pepper. Push the rosemary into the cavity of the bird and roast in the centre of the oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until the thigh juices run clear.

  • Step 2

    Meanwhile, scatter walnuts on a baking tray and put in the oven on a rack above the guinea fowl for 6 minutes or until toasted. Tip onto a work surface and, when cooled a little, rub between your hands to remove most of the skins. Roughly chop the nuts.

  • Step 3

    Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the bacon for 4-5 minutes until crisp, adding the garlic towards the last minute of the cooking time. Transfer to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving any fat in the pan.

  • Step 4

    Remove the bird from the oven, put on a warmed platter and rest for 8 minutes.

  • Step 5

    Add the remaining soft butter to the frying pan and heat. Cut the bread into dice-sized cubes and, when the butter is foaming, throw them in. Cook for about 5 minutes until golden brown, turning regularly. Lift the bread into the bowl with the bacon and garlic before adding the walnuts, lemon zest and chopped parsley.

  • Step 6

    Skim off any fat from the roasting tin, then put the tin on the hob. On a high heat, deglaze the pan with sherry, sherry vinegar and sugar. Simmer for a couple of minutes or so, scraping up all the sediment from the bottom of the pan. Drop cubes of the chilled butter into the juices and swish around the pan until they emulsify into a sauce.

  • Step 7

    Carve the guinea fowl breast thickly, leaving the wings attached to a slice. Divide the legs at the joint. Arrange on a small platter with gravy poured over, then scatter all about with the fried crumb mixture. Serve immediately with sautéed savoy cabbage.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 876
  • Carbs 30.9g
  • Protein 68.4g
  • Fat 50.7g
  • Salt 2.18g
  • Saturates 17.5g
  • Fibre 2.1g