The Original Fowl
Acquire your fowl. Guinea fowls are fall seasonal birds that can found in local artisan butcher shops during the months of September and October.
Remove the carcass. This is poultry preparation technique known as “flattening” or “butterflying” the bird. By removing the carcass, you are exposing the breast meat and leg meat to an even seasoning and cooking surface. Guinea fowl meat is drier and leaner than chicken meat and has a gamey flavour. It has marginally more protein than chicken or turkey, roughly half the fat of chicken and slightly fewer calories per gram. In order to keep the meat nice and moist during the cooking process, it is best to marinate the bird overnight.
Marinating the butterflied fowl. With the carcass removed, the body of the guinea fowl should fit easily into a large ziplock bag. Fill the bag with your favourite cooking liquid. I have used a condensed beef stock in this case.
Cover a baking tray with your favourite aromatic vegetables and herbs. Add, EVOO, salt, and pepper to taste. Remove the flattened fowl from the marinade and position as is shown in the photo. We want as much skinless meat on the baking tray as we can. Normally the wings would cook much quicker than the breasts and the legs, but with the skinless meat of the legs and breasts on direct contact with the heat of the tray, and the wings positioned away on from the heat onto of the skin of the breasts, we can achieve a more even cook throughout. Add the stock from the bag to the tray.
Step 5 (optional)
Add a mustard glaze. Gently brush Dijon mustard and sprinkle ground cayenne pepper on the surface skin of the guinea. This will crust up nicely during the cooking process, and will add a nice kick of flavour to the skin. (You may have noticed the skin is quite blue-grey-black. It is delicious, despite its odd colour, and the mustard will add to the visual appeal as well as the flavour)
Slow-roast the bird and veg in the oven for 1 hour at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This slow cook time will allow for a thorough cook without the loss of moisture from the meat.
Remove from oven and leave to cool for 15 minutes to allow the juices to settle. Then plate and enjoy.