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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Miso Ginger Sesame Roasted Guinea Fowl

 What was that you said?
Guinea fowl seems like such a bad word.  In French, it's called Pintade, which I prefer.  I'm definitely getting fancy this holiday season.
I believe I've mentioned somewhere that I've never cooked a whole holiday bird with stuffing and the works.. and that fact saddened me upon realizing it.  Back in the US, the holiday cooking was never my job so I watched, and at best, chopped, but I never did any of the glorious stuff.  Here in France, I've either been invited to massive tables or cooked for 3.  
What's the point of doing a whole turkey for 3?
Well, here in France, holiday birds aren't narrowed down to just turkey.  they have a full array of crazy things and a larger selection of birds to choose from.  I've done kangaroo, wild boar, doe, deer, and lamb, but this year, I'm doing a bird.
Guinea Fowl.  It's a small little thing perfect for 3 and doesn't necessarily break the budget.
I'm going to make it memorable by smothering it in a sexy miso marinade, stuffing it with nashi (asian pear) and yam, and slow roasting it to perfection.
1 guinea fowl or pintade of 1.6kg (3 1/2 lbs)
1 nashi pear, cut into cubes
1/2 yam, peeled and cut into cubes
1/2 red onion, minced
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp sesame seeds
pinch of salt
fresh cracked pepper
2 Tbsp dark miso paste
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp rice vinegar or Mirin
1 Tbsp grated ginger
3 grated garlic cloves
1 Tbsp black sesame
1 Tbsp white sesame
1.  Make the marinade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.
2.  With a knife, slice little slits into the pintade's skin.  Massage the marinade as much in between the skin and flesh of the bird as possible.  Smother it all over and well on the inside as well.  Place in a freezer bag with the rest of the marinade (if any left) and let infuse a few hours or overnight.  I did it overnight.
3.  Make the stuffing by cutting all the stuff into small pieces and adding the juice, salt, pepper, and sesame seeds.  Stuff all that good stuff into the bird's cavity.  It feels very offensive to do this, but it's for a good cause, I promise.
4.  Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F.  Place the stuffed pintade in an oven proof dish backside down.
Here she is all smothered with miso and stuffed right before going into the oven.  Isn't she lovely?
Cook for 20 minutes.
5.  Turn that lovely bird over, so it is breast side down.  Usually the breast gets dry during roasting.  Cooking it breast side down will minimize this effect since they will be cooking in all the juices.
6.Turn the heat down to 120°C or 250°F and cook for 4 hours, basting regularly.
Needless to say, she was perfect.
She was moist (even the breast) tender, meat falling off the bone delicious with a very very slight miso flavor that is not overpowering but lets this little lady shine as she has never shone before.
I served this with some green beans and thick cut yam "fries" tossed in olive oil, ginger powder, piment d'espelette powder, sesame seeds, and fleur de sel.
Oh, and don't forget to precede by these fines de claires
MmmmMm noblesse in my mouth.
Everybody loved it, and this size of a bird is actually enough for 4.  I have one portion leftover.
I'm so proud of myself I've been trying to call my mother to explain my process, since she is a self proclaimed "Reine des Dindes" which means, queen of turkeys, but in French has a negative connotation that she apparently doesn't mind.  But alas, there is no way of getting a hold of her… she must be too busy partying or singing...
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