A dry curing time of 2 days is required to enhance the flavor and to retain moisture when cooking in the oil.
By Giulio Sturla
It feels just right when I have the opportunity to prepare a meal with this beautiful animal that require something more than just cooking.
My kitchen partner Alex found this game bird supplier at the other side of town, after a few conversations on the phone we organized to buy 9 guinea fowl, they were the last of the season, around 5 months old. That tuesday we were very excited in the kitchen waiting for the moment to arrive. During all my time in New Zealand neither Alex nor I had ever heard of someone farming game birds and many people saying that you cannot find them here.
On that day we hung them for 2 days then we plucked the feathers and portion them for the 2 parties we had that weekend, one of them was the breast and liver pate and the other we confit the whole leg (served with the claw).
After 8 hours of plucking we realized how special and honest it would be to serve a dish with their meat. It takes more than just patience, a lot of care is involved to avoid breaking the skin, the breast being the most difficult part, the last touch was done with a pair of tweezers for the tiny ones.
I remember when I was a kid getting chicken with its internal organs from the market, now you find frozen or nothing. So getting the heart and liver fresh as that it was very special.
I have arranged for the next season that starts in November to get pheasant, quail, guinea fowl and their eggs. If the opportunity arrives, possible go to get them ourselves.
- 6 guineafowl legs
- 2 lts olive oil
- 150 gr salt
- 50 gr sugar
- 5 gr dry herbs
- For the dry curing mix salt, sugar and herbs in a blender.
- Use this mix to rub all around the legs and leave covered in a deep container for two days.
- After two days wash under running water and let them soak for 10 min covered with water in a bowl.
- Pat them dry and arrange them with a good shape in a deep baking pan, cover them completely with olive oil.
- Cook them for 1 hour 30 mins at 120 C, then remove them from the oil and bake them for 15 mins at 180 C or until they get a nice golden brown color.
- Serve right away