Once on the dining tables of many wealthy Romans, it is said that these birds were domestically held in Rome in roughly AD 72. Guinea fowl is arguably chicken meets pheasant, and therefore has a gamey taste which pairs perfectly with Tuscany's famous Vin Santo. Discover the Italian qualities this dish possesses with our resident chef Selene Goretti's recipe for Guinea Fowl with Vin Santo and Grapes.
A glass of Tuscany's 'holy wine', Vin Santo, is a deep-amber gem found in many Italian meals. It combines the taste of tropical fruits, hazelnut, caramel and honey for a truly delectable wine to accompany guinea fowl. Juicy bacon slices cover the guinea fowl to ensure succulence, laced with garlic and rosemary drizzled in Extra-virgin olive oil for a classic Italian main meal.
For more juicy and succulent recipes, join chef Selene for a Cooking Week at I Corbezzoli or Il Cortile Pratolino. During the week you’ll be able to dive deeper into the local food of Italy with private cooking classes, wine tasting and culinary experiences included in the price.
Guinea Fowl with Vin Santo & Grapes
Serves 4 - Cook in 1 ½ hour
- 1 guinea fowl, washed, cleaned, gutted
- 200g white grapes
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 glass of Vin Santo
- 4 thick bacon slices
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Vegetable broth
- Kitchen twine
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius (°C). Peel, crush and finely chop the garlic cloves with the rosemary. Pass the guinea fowl over a flame to remove any remaining feathers, before seasoning with salt, pepper, chopped garlic and rosemary mix. Massage well with your fingers, add half of the white grapes, and close the lower part by tieing the thighs together using kitchen twine.
Season the skin with salt and olive oil, and massage well. Cover the breast of the guinea fowl with slices of bacon – this will ensure the meat doesn't dry out too much during cooking. Line a pan with parchment paper, and add the guinea fowl, arranging the remaining grapes around. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, and then cover with half of the Vin Santo. Continue to bake until the top part becomes amber, and then turn the guinea fowl, covering again with the remaining half of Vin Santo.
Continue to bake for another 40 minutes, adding vegetable broth so that the meat remains moist. Similarly to chicken, guinea fowl must not be served rare. You can test this by piercing the thickest part of the thigh – if the juices run clear, it is ready. Portion the guinea fowl, by cutting it first in half and then from each half, cut into 3 pieces. Remove the filling and mix it with the sauce that has formed in the pan. Serve hot with its sauce, and accompany with either baked or mashed potatoes. Buon Appetito!