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Guinea fowl with polenta and wild mushrooms

Winter has well and truly set in and this super-warming guinea fowl recipe is the perfect antidote. It uses the whole bird including the carcass so nothing goes to waste. You can order your guinea fowl in our shop and Marcus will prep it for you ready for this recipe. The croquettes are a bit of a labour of love and this recipe makes loads of them which is certainly no bad thing! You can of course fry them all and eat them but you can also freeze them before coating and defrost when you're ready to use them. You could also make this recipe with other game birds like pheasant which, incidentally we also have in our shop.

Ingredients for two (with extra croquettes):

1 guinea fowl, split into supremes, legs, wing tips and the carcass

1 large carrot, scrubbed and roughly chopped

1 celery stick, roughly chopped

1 medium brown onion or large shallot, peeled and quartered

Handful dried wild mushrooms

Teaspoon black peppercorns

Bay leaf

75g butter, divided

100ml double cream

30g parmesan

100g quick cook polenta

Large handful sage

200g mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed and roughly chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

Dried breadcrumbs (panko is best but you can also make your own)

3 tablespoons plain flour

1 egg, beaten

Neutral oil for frying


Start by making the croquette mix. It needs to sit in the fridge for an hour or so to firm up so make sure you leave enough time. Place the guinea fowl legs, wing tips and carcass in a large saucepan along with the carrot, celery, onion, dried mushrooms, peppercorns, bay leaf and a large pinch of salt. Cover with water and simmer very gently for around two hours until the meat and vegetables are very soft.

Drain the broth and reserve for the polenta. Remove the bay, peppercorns and carcass and take out the meat to cool. Mash the vegetables or blitz in a food processor until you have a rough paste. Once cool enough to handle, finely shred the guinea fowl meat and add to the vegetable mix along with a tablespoon of butter and half of the sage, finely chopped. Season well and squeeze with your hands to combine. If it's looking a little wet, add a couple of tablespoons of breadcrumbs to bind. Roll into golfball sized balls and place on a tray in the fridge to firm up for an hour or so.

When you're ready to eat, preheat the oven to 180C. Heat a tablespoon of the butter and the olive oil in a frying pan until bubbling. Generously salt the guinea fowl supremes and fry, skin down until golden brown and crisp. Turn over and brown the other side then place on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 20 minutes until the juices run clear when pierced.

Meanwhile, cook the polenta. Add 400ml of the reserved broth to the polenta in a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes until boiling and the graininess has gone from the polenta. Remove from the heat and add the butter, cream and grated parmesan. Cover and set aside until ready to eat.

Roll the croquettes first in flour, then beaten egg then breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a deep fat fryer or in a high-sided pan to 160C (use a meat thermometer if you're using a pan). Drop the coated croquettes very carefully into the oil and fry until a deep golden brown colour. If you're doing all of them, you'll need to do this in batches. Drain on kitchen paper. Use the oil to fry the remaining sage leaves for a few seconds until crisp. Remove and place on the kitchen paper.

Heat the remaining butter in a frying pan, you can use the one you fried in the guinea fowl in, just give it a wipe. Once bubbling, add the mushrooms and fry until soft and browned at the edges.

To serve, spread a generous amount of the polenta on a plate or shallow bowl, place the guinea fowl in the centre along with one of the croquettes. Surround with the mushrooms and top with the crispy sage leaves. Finish by drizzling over some of the pan juices from the meat.

Made this? We'd love to see it. Tag us in your photos @cookandfeastlondon

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