Guinea hen, also called guinea fowl, is perhaps little known in the U.S., but is extremely popular in France, where it is often referred to as the “Sunday bird.” A relative of the chicken and partridge, the guinea hen’s lean and tender dark meat has 50% less fat than chicken and has a pleasant, slightly gamey flavor that is similar to pheasant in taste. D’Artagnan guinea hens are humanely raised from the highest grade of French breeding stock to ensure a top quality bird. Their diet consists of corn, soy and wheat alfalfa, with no antibiotics or hormones ever used. Air-chilling helps preserve the meat’s texture and flavor, and because the skin is not water-logged, it cooks up nice and crispy. Enjoy the whole bird as you would a roast chicken. Guinea hen meat is very lean and can become dry in cooking, so we also recommend a moist cooking method such as braising, or barding the bird generously with bacon. Two of our favorite techniques for poultry work especially well with guinea hen: tuck some black truffle butter under the skin, or rub duck fat all over before roasting it slowly. You can also cook the parts of the bird separately: pan sear the breast and then braise or confit the legs.
"We turn guinea hen into a fork-tender ragout and serve it over creamy polenta with Morbier cheese, a semisoft cow’s milk cheese from France that has a characteristic thin line of ash. We recommend simmering the meat on the bone for maximum flavor."
"Gently sautéed guinea-hen breasts are an elegant way to showcase the pure taste of this bird. Porcini mushrooms and reduced essence of guinea hen add layers of rich flavors. "
"The French love a good fricassee, and it is easy to see why. Here, guinea hen is sautéed with shallots in butter then simmered with wine, cream and lemon juice. Serve the fricassee over pasta or with crispy bread."
"Guinea hen likes garlic, so we serve it here with two garlic-rich sauces. "
""SRO" guinea hen is a play on the phrase, standing room only. Here, the hens are roasted upright on a vertical roaster. D'Artagnan owner, Ariane Daguin, calls this a "standing room oven" bird."