Posting this recipe on the first day of Autumn was irresistible. A most autumnal dish in every way. Autumn brings game and wild berries to our plates. I have constructed this dish with flavours that I feel are most welcome and. in a way. rather spiritual at this time of year. The sloe gin, juniper berries and cream work extremely well together, the dish being further enhanced by the guinea fowl infusion into the sauce. This dish serves 2 or 3 people.
1 guinea fowl cut into 8 pieces, carefully separating the breast meat from the bone. Wash away the blood stains from the bones.
2 oz (60 gms) unsalted butter
3 cloves of garlic, core removed and crushed
3.5 oz (100 mls) sloe gin
3.5 oz (100 mls) madeira
20 dried juniper berries
2 pears peeled, cored and each cut into 8 pieces
4 cups (1L) chicken stock
1/2 cup (150 mls) double cream
Peeled baby carrots, chard and blackberries to garnish
In a large pot, sauté all the guinea fowl pieces and bones in the butter until they turn golden brown. Carefully transfer the pieces and bones to a warm plate. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds. Deglaze the pan with the gin and add the juniper berries. As the liquid in the pan begins to sizzle add the madeira and reduce again until the liquid in pan begins to sizzle. Add the pear pieces and sauté them until they turn golden brown. Transfer the pears to a warm plate. Transfer all the guinea fowl pieces except for the boned breasts back to the pan. Deglaze with the chicken stock and bring the pan to a simmer and cover. After 20 mins add the breasts and simmer for a further 15 minutes. Uncover the pan and remove the bones from the broth. Remove the legs, wings and breast pieces and transfer them to a warmed plate. Raise the heat and reduce the broth by about a half. Add the cream and reduce again until the broth is rich a creamy. To plate the dish, add the carrots and pears and layer the breast pieces or legs. Spoon on the thickened broth and include some juniper berries. Garnish the dish with chard leaves and fresh blackberries.