24 November 2008

La Pintade farcie

Here's the recipe for stuffed guinea hen with port wine. It's pretty simple, really.

Une pintade or guinea hen

The pintade I bought at the supermarket weighed 1.3 kg or about 2½ lbs.
Stuffed Guinea Hen

a 2½ lb. guinea hen
4 slices of bread
6 Tbs. milk
1 egg
¼ lb. sausage meat
1 Tbs. chopped parsley
4 Tbs. port wine
3 sprigs of thyme
2 Tbs. cooking oil
1 oz. butter
salt and pepper

Trim the crusts off the bread and put it to soak in the milk. Mash it with a fork and add the egg, the sausage meat, 2 Tbs. of port wine, the parsley, and a little salt. Mix this all with a fork (or your fingers) to get a smooth paste.

Put this stuffing into the guinea hen. Sew up the bird. Put the bird in a dish and pour the rest of the port over it, along with the oil and the sprigs of thyme. Cover it and let it rest for 24 hours, turning the hen over twice in the marinade.

Melt the butter in a pan. Take the bird out (saving the marinade) and brown it on all sides on fairly high heat. Then put it in a pre-heated 220ºC/400ºF oven and let it cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Baste it with the marinade, cover it, and let it cook for another 20 minutes in the oven.

To serve the guinea hen, cut it up as you would a chicken and arrange the pieces on a warm platter. Take the stuffing out and cut it into slices.
The hen enjoyed a vegetarian diet.

My variations on this mainly have to do with the meat I used for the stuffing. Instead of ground pork sausage meat, I bought what they call chair de volaille or ground poultry. I don't know if it is ground chicken or turkey. It doesn't matter. I also added a chopped shallot to the stuffing because I thought that flavor would be good.

Guinea hen is a little gamier than chicken but not so much so
as pheasant. They are all in the same family.

If you don't know, guinea fowl are relatives of the chicken and the pheasant. They come from Africa but are raised in Europe and America for food now. I remember my great-aunt had guinea hens on her farm in South Carolina back in the 1960s when we first went to visit her.

Here's the recipe in French.
Pintade farcie

1 pintade de 1 kg
4 tranches de pain de mie
6 cuillerées à soupe de lait
1 œuf
100 g de chair à saucisse
1 cuillerée à soupe de persil haché
4 cuillerées à soupe de porto
3 branches de thym frais
2 cuillerées à soupe d'huile
30 g de beurre

Parer les tranches de pain de mie et les faire tremper dans le lait. Écraser avec une fourchette et ajouter l'œuf, la chair à saucisse, 2 cuillerées à soupe de porto, le persil, un peu de sel. Mélanger avec une fourchette jusqu'à l'obtention d'une pâte homogène.

Mettre cette farce dans le ventre de la pintade. Coudre les deux ouvertures, à la base du cou et à l'extrémité opposée. Disposer la pintade dans un plat, la mouiller avec le reste du porto, ajouter l'huile et le thym ; couvrir et laisser reposer 24 heures, en retournant deux fois la volaille.

Faire chauffer le beurre dans une cocotte ; y-mettre la pintade bien égouttée de la marinade (qu'il faut conserver) et la faire dorer de tous les côtés à feu assez vif. Mettre au four préchauffé à 220°C et laisser cuire à découvert pendant 30 minutes, mouiller avec le liquide de la marinade, couvrir et laisser cuire encore 20 minutes au four.

Pour servir, découper la pintade comme un poulet et disposer les morceaux sur un plat de service chaud avec la farce coupée en tranches.
I'll let you know tomorrow how it all came out. It will be tonight's dinner.


  1. I don't believe that I had ever thought about a guinea hen being something different from a HEN hen! I've certainly seen the word pintade before, though. I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of the finished product, and hearing about the success.


  2. Are they the cute ones with black and white specks? I haven't read your blog in a long time, Ken. So sorry! I've been busy, but I miss reading your blog so much. It keeps me connected. I'm gonna try to jump right back in. Hope you, Walt, and Callie are doing very well.


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