The guinea fowl (Numida meleagris) is a hardy game bird native to Africa. It is a source of tasty game meat, according to the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry of Queensland. They live on a diet of insects, seeds and grasses and fend for themselves, that’s why they are easy and inexpensive to raise, says the Guinea Farm of Mr. Ralph Winter of New Vienna, Iowa in the United States.
Their name comes from Guinea, the west coast of Africa, according to an article “Keeping Guinea Fowl,” published by the Cooperative Extension Service of the University of Kentucky’s College of Agriculture. The ancient Greeks and Romans raised them as table birds.
In developing your own guinea fowl recipes, keep in mind that the young guinea has tender meat, like wild game. The guinea fowl is ready to eat at 14 to 16 weeks of age. Compared to chicken meat, the meat of the guinea fowl “is leaner and drier,” as described in the University of Kentucky article. That makes them suitable for roasting, poaching or fricassee, or braising and simmering like a coq au vin. Nutritionally, it has 134 calories per 100 gram service, just about 25 calories higher than turkey meat. Guinea eggs can be cooked just like chicken eggs.
According to the University of Kentucky article, hotels and restaurants serve guinea fowl recipes “as a special delicacy or as a substitute for other game birds” during banquets and club dinners. It’s a special occasion bird because it’s not as common as say, turkey or chicken, and this demands a higher cost. The birds sell at around 1.75-2.5 lbs. In preparing them, they are slaughtered and dressed like chickens. The bones are small and the carcass is meaty.
With a more flavorful meat than chicken, guinea fowl recipes abound in the French and Italian cuisines, as described in Wikipedia for domesticated guinea fowl. So a good coq au vin recipe would do good for your stock of guinea fowl meat and so will it produce a delightful dish when braised and roasted in a recipe. According to the BBC Food, the older guinea fowl can be cooked in a casserole (with red wine and chestnuts) to keep the flesh moist.
Guinea fowl recipes abound. There’s the guinea fowl supreme which is roasted and served with roasted and sautéed endives. Guinea fowl with Armagnac is a recipe that calls for roasting the guinea fowl after being marinated in Armagnac brandy and stuffed with Armagnac-infused white grapes.