Nigel Slater’s roast guinea fowl and chocolate ginger mousse recipes | Life and elegance


Every time I roast a guinea fowl, or cook dinner 1 in a lidded pot with cider, apples and rosemary, I ask myself why this doesn’t occur extra typically. The pores and skin crisps pleasingly, the flesh is gently gamey and the roast bones make a flavoursome broth. There is sufficient meat to feed 4 on the common chicken – they’re not often very giant – however hardly something left for sandwiches as there’s with an enormous hen. Maybe that’s it: my fondness for a roast hen sandwich with a slice of thyme and onion stuffing, sprigs of watercress and a thick drift of mayonnaise on a Sunday night.

A guinea fowl roasts sweetly and is sweet worth. I all the time stuff them with cooked complete wheat, herbed breadcrumbs or crushed floury potatoes. The roasting juices trickle down via the stuffing, enriching it with the flavour of the chicken. We appear to have received out of the apply of constructing stuffing, however I like every part about it: the best way it makes the meat go additional, including one other savoury factor to the plate and introducing a contemporary be aware of lemon or tender spice, or no matter else we season it with.

I’ve moved on from the normal sausage-based stuffing, utilizing lighter mediums, comparable to mograbia and fregola – the Sardinian semolina pasta, like giant pearls of couscous. Oh, and freekeh. The inexperienced wheat works on this case, too.

It took me a very long time to work out why I maintain such a keenness for Easter eggs. I’ve lastly clicked that it’s the thinness of the chocolate that appeals – so crisp and effective and melting is it. I’ve by no means been a lot of a fan of chocolate desserts, discovering them too wealthy after dinner and preferring them as, say, a mid-afternoon deal with. That stated, I wouldn’t say no to a traditional chocolate mousse, however I prefer it with a crisp, skinny, curling almond biscuit or a type of Belgian waffle wafers.

This week, I took to crumbling tender ginger cookies and folding them via the mousse earlier than it units – crunchy nuggets among the many tender, fudgy chocolate.

I wish to serve chocolate mousse with a jug of easy double cream. Something to flatter the mousse fairly than smother it. Happy Easter.

Roast guinea fowl, fregola stuffing and peas with lemon and mint

This stuffing works effectively with hen, too. The fregola with herbs and lemon began life as a facet dish for grilled lamb. Here, it advantages from the juices of the chicken, trickling via because it roasts.

Serves 4
fregola 200g
lemon thyme leaves 2 tbsp
parsley a small bunch
butter 30g
bay leaves 3
guinea fowl 1 x 1.5kg
olive oil 3 tbsp

For the peas:
parsley 10g
olive oil 3 tbsp
lemon juice of 1
peas 300g, frozen
mint leaves a small handful

Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, salt it flippantly, then add the fregola and convey again to the boil. Lower the warmth to a simmer, and go away to cook dinner for 10-15 minutes, till al dente. Drain and put aside. Set the oven at 200C/fuel mark 6.

Chop the lemon thyme leaves and stir into the fregola. Remove the leaves from the parsley and roughly chop, then add to the fregola with the butter minimize into small items. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the bay leaves then spoon the fregola contained in the guinea fowl. Rub the olive oil over the chicken and season, then roast within the preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes.

Remove the guinea fowl from the oven and go away to relaxation for 10 minutes. For the peas: chop the parsley, heat the olive oil in a big, shallow pan then squeeze within the lemon juice. Tip within the peas, cowl with a lid so the peas steam, and cook dinner for 3-4 minutes, then stir in just a little salt and the parsley and mint leaves.

Carve the guinea fowl then serve with the peas, stuffing and juices from the tin.

Chocolate ginger mousse

Crunch time: chocolate ginger mousse.

Crunch time: chocolate ginger mousse. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

Chocolate mousse advantages from the addition of one thing crunchy. Here, ginger biscuits, smashed and tossed with chocolate. The barely chewy model works higher than hard-as-nails gingernuts.

Serves 6
For the ginger crumb:
darkish chocolate 75g
butter 40g
gentle ginger biscuits 200g

For the mousse:
darkish chocolate 300g
butter 40g
espresso, scorching 2 tbsp
eggs 5

For the ginger crumb: break the chocolate into items and soften in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Put the biscuits right into a freezer bag and crush into small, gravel-sized items with a rolling pin. Alternatively, use a meals processor, however take care to not scale back them to effective crumbs. Stir the butter gently into the melted chocolate. (Too a lot stirring will make the chocolate “seize”.) Fold the biscuit crumbs into the chocolate.

Make the mousse: break the chocolate into small items and put it in a heatproof mixing bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and go away the chocolate to soften with out stirring. Separate the eggs. Cut the butter into small items and add to the chocolate, then pour within the espresso, stirring flippantly. Remove the bowl from the warmth.

Beat the egg whites till virtually stiff then fold them into the chocolate. Pour a 3rd of the mousse right into a dish, add a layer of the crumbled chocolate-covered crumbs, then a 2d layer, then extra crumbs, the remaining mousse then lastly extra chocolate crumbs.

Refrigerate for 4 hours or till the mousse has set.

Email Nigel at [email protected] or observe him on Twitter @NigelSlater

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