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Grandma Menna’s Kitchen: jugged guinea-fowl

I still remember the first time I tasted this dish. How to forget that moment? I was in bed, ill, I was suffering from mumps and it was just 2 days after my final examination at elementary school.

We were momentarily living with Grandma Menna, since there were restoration works in our house.

I was in dad’s old bedroom, immersed in Mickey Mouse comics and Gaia Junior books, my great passions at that time.

At lunch time Grandma came upstairs bringing a dish with a guinea-fowl leg and tons of sauce, thick, tasteful and delicious. Trying and trying, I couldn’t manage to gulp down a single morsel, but bit by bit I finished all the sauce, dipping my little fingers into that creamy dressing.

Since then, I often ask grandma to make this delicious dish, as it’s one of my favourite one. I thought it was hard to prepare, but last Sunday we made it together and it was surprisingly easy!

The recipe, tried and tried again, is in one of grandma old recipe books, Lisa Biondi’s best recipes, De Vecchi Editore, 1978. It has notes on the side, Claudia’s picture and some recipe cuttings as bookmarks and an X next to the title, meaning “good recipe. Worth a try!”.
Jugged guinea-fowl

  • guinea-fowl, 1 cleaned and skinned
  • chicken liver, 1 (*)
  • celery, 1 stalk
  • carrot, 1
  • laurel, 2 leaves
  • garlic, 2 cloves
  • thyme, 1 spring
  • marjoram, 1 spring
  • juniper, a few berries
  • cloves, 2
  • butter, 100 gr
  • white wine, 2 glasses
  • flour to dust
  • salt and pepper

Rinse the guinea-fowl and divide it into pieces, not too small, saving the liver (if the guinea-fowl has not a liver, as usually happens for supermarket guinea, you can use a chicken liver as well)*.

Chop celery, carrot and onion. Make a sachet with a piece of gauze and put inside thyme, marjoram, juniper and cloves: close it tightly. Don’t use a colourful string, otherwise you’ll have a blue guinea-fowl, as Bridget Jones soup! 😉

Use a large bowl, put in guinea-fowl pieces, chopped vegetables, garlic, laurel leaves and the sachet. Cover with white wine and let in infusion for 24 hours.

The day after, drain guinea-fowl pieces, pat them dry with a paper towel and dust them with flour. Make then brown in a large casserole with butter. When they are golden on every side, pour in the marinade with wine and vegetables, removing garlic and the sachet.

The original recipe asks to let the guinea-fowl cook for 2 hours but, as grandma says, it was true for farmer guinea-fowls! Today 30 minutes are enough!

Cook on low heat. After about 20 minutes, add chicken liver. When the cooking time is almost over, remove the guinea-fowl and pass all the vegetables through a vegetable mill, to obtain a thick and velvety sauce. Put again the guinea-fowl into the casserole and let cook for the last 5 minutes, to let the sauce thicken.

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