Saturday, August 25, 2012

Pintade - Guinea Fowl. Guinea Fowl on French Menus.

Behind the French Menu
Bryan G. Newman  
A Guinea hen.
    Photograph by courtesy of Guinea Fowl Flock.
   Guinea fowl will be on many French menus with many recipes dedicated especially to this tasty bird. If you do not usually see Guinea fowl on a menu at home that is a good enough reason to try a tasty Guinea fowl in France. Guinea fowl have darker meat than chicken and a slightly stronger taste; more importantly is the manner in which French chefs prepare these birds.
French menus may offer: 

Raviolis Maison Farcies à la Pintade et Champignons Sauvages - The chef's special ravioli stuffed with guinea fowl meat and wild mushrooms.

Les Suprêmes de Pintade à la Crème de Lentilles et Estragon – Breast of guinea fowl served with a cream of lentil and tarragon sauce.
Warm Salad of Guinea Fowl with Violet Artichokes,

Grilled Spring Onions, Girolle mushrooms, Pea Shoots and Almonds.                   
Photograph by courtesy of Renée Suen, 
 Suprême de Pintade aux Pleurotes, Gratin Dauphinois - Breast of guinea fowl cooked with oyster mushrooms and served with gratin dauphinois. Gratin dauphinois is sliced baked potatoes baked with olive oil and garlic and layered with cream and milk, some versions include onions. When ready they will be covered with Parmesan or Gruyère cheese and lightly browned under the grill.
Gratin Dauphinois      
 Photograph by courtesy of Niklas Pivic.
The Guinea fowl on your menu are all farmed-raised. Wild Guinea fowl originated in West Africa, and were already being raised in Europe in the 14th century. Then guinea fowl were called, in France, the Poulet d’Inde, which is the name used for turkeys in French today; how two birds originally received the same name is another story and I have included it on a post on turkeys.
   A whole guinea fowl will weigh over 1 kilo, and a large guinea fowl can way 1.5 kilos; your restaurant will probably be offering breast of guinea fowl or another cut.  Grilled or roasted Guinea fowl are leaner than chicken; that will be a good reason to ask for it back home.

 Guinea fowl in the languages of France's neighbours:
  (German  -  perlhühner), (Italian - galline di faraone, faraone), (Spanish – gallina de Guinea, pintada).

Pintadeaux - A young Guinea fowl.

Bryan G. Newman

Behind the French Menu
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