1 guinea fowl
2 boar sausages
1 sml onion
1 sml celery stick
300g haricot beans
1 smoked garlic bulb
1 clove of garlic
Sml handfull thyme
2 pints water
125g creme fraiche
Salt & pepper to season
Preheat the oven to 225°C.
Take a large stock pot, put a little oil in the bottom followed by the guinea fowl, also covering with a little oil and a sprinkle of salt over the skin. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes with the lid off.
Meanwhile finely chop the carrot, celery stick, onion and garlic clove. Slice the sausages and set aside. Bring the water to a boil in a pan.
When the guinea fowl has had its 20 minutes, remove from the oven and place the bird on a plate. With the residual heat from the stockpot add the carrot, celery, onion, garlic and sausages for a couple of minutes allowing the onions to sweat a little.
Scrape the contents of the pot to the sides and put the guinea fowl back in along with any juices. Now add the thyme, haricot beans and boiling water. Season well and mix the ingredients so that they are evenly spaced.
Cut the smoked garlic bulb through the middle and place in the pot, splashing a little water over it.
Return to the oven with the lid now on, reducing the heat to 160°C and cook for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the lid for the last 30 minutes along with a little stir.
Serve by pulling apart the bird and dividing the beans and broth, adding a dollop of creme fraiche and cracked black pepper on top.
Guinea fowl is a lesser known bird to most, although becoming more common in recent years. It is right up there with my favourite birds to cook with. Tasting like a strong flavoured chicken with the slightest gamey undertone that goes perfectly in a dish of this nature, releasing all of its flavour into the broth of the cassoulet. Just the kind of wholesome meal you want when being out and about all day in the cold.
My Grandmother actually used to keep Guinea fowl when I was younger and I believe we used to eat the eggs, I can’t remember ever eating the birds although I may not have been told this due to being quite fond of the birds. They are quite striking birds to look at with white on black polka dots over their feathers.