Monday, September 16, 2013

Guinea hen

One of the nice things we find readily in France is the pintade (guinea hen). They're great eating birds, a little like chicken, a little like duck, but not too much of either. Very pintade-like. You can certainly find them in the supermarket, but the local farmers' markets have the best ones around here.

The stuffed and seasoned pintade ready for the oven.

I tried to get one from our favorite poultry vendor at the Saint-Aignan market on Saturday, but they were on their annual vacation (which is just after the summer season ends). I decided to try one of the other local vendors who sells at the Sunday market across the river in Noyers-sur-Cher. When you buy poultry at the markets, the vendor will usually ask you if you want it "prepared." Of course I do. They take the head and feet off, gut the bird, and burn the skin with a blowtorch to remove any leftover feathers. You get the giblets (heart, liver, gizzard), and there are still some pin feathers that you have to remove, but it's easier than getting the bird unprepared and having to do it all yourself.

Out of the oven and ready to carve.

I was lucky to find the vendors at the Noyers market with plenty of pintades for sale. I bought a medium-sized bird at 2.3 kilos (about 5 pounds) for our Sunday lunch. We roasted it on the spit in our oven and it turned out great. We stuffed it with garlic, parsley, and lemon, and served it with peas and carrots and oven roasted potatoes. Of course, we have a lot of it left over for another meal or two. Ken ate the liver, but the heart, gizzard, and some of the neck will go to Callie. Lucky dog.


  1. That looks delicious! Best place for a pintade is on the plate. I just hope our "good life" neighbours don't get some to go with their chickens - empty vessels make the most noise, and boy are they dim! P.


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