When I purchased the Game Bird Fun Pack from D'Artagnan, I was so excited that I failed to notice an important detail regarding the 5 lbs of guinea fowl. At the time of purchase, I thought I was getting a 5 lb bird. What I actually got was a 5 lb bag of legs. My counterpart looked at them and said "What the hell am I supposed to do with that?"
|A dozen guinea fowl legs|
He figured out what to do with squab, and soon he had a plan for all those legs - quiche.
He used the pastry recipe in Le Gastronomique and prepared enough for two quiches - one for dinner tonight, and the second for quick assembly sometime around mid-week. We determined that four legs would equal one quiche. With a dozen legs, eight were prepped for cooking, and four were carefully wrapped and put back in the freezer for future use.
To prepare our legs for the quiche, my counterpart decided to roast them the way you would roast any other fowl. He seasoned them with salt, pepper, sage, and leek. He also added potato to the roasting pan so that all of our filling components could cook together.
|Seasoned legs and potatoes|
The legs roasted in about 45 minutes at 350. Once they cooled, the meat was removed from the bones. Meat and potato were then cut down and mixed with more fresh leek and placed in the pastry shell.
|Preparing the pastry shell|
|Filling the pastry shell|
The rest of the quiche filling was fairly standard. Gareth added that to a mixture of eggs and heavy cream, seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs, and poured it into the pastry. He topped it off with grated cheese. Our cheese was a Jarlsberg we acquired at Wegman's and had initially intended for the squab but which actually works out very well in quiche.
|The main ingredient|
Into the oven it went, and about 45 minutes later it was done. Once out of the oven, we let it stand for about 10 minutes to allow the egg to set and the quiche to cool a little.
|The finished product|
For those unfamiliar with guinea fowl, it is a distant descendant of an African chicken. Like a wide variety of small bird, its popularity in Europe did not carry over to The Colonies, and modern America does not know what it is missing. Or, we actually do if only we could remember. Guinea fowl does taste a lot like chicken, but not like the bland and tasteless chicken you find in the grocery store. It tastes like chicken out in the country tastes, chicken that has been allowed to roam around and eat something besides corn. It's still chicken, but more so, with a stronger flavor and leaner meat. Its flavor brought back some distant memories from childhood, when I was not eating guinea fowl, but most likely eating a fresh chicken from the farm.