Sunday, 20 July 2008

Things That Taste Like Chicken: Guinea Fowl

There are so many things that taste like chicken that it's well worth me doing a mini-series on the topic. In fact it seems that the only thing that doesn't taste like chicken is an intensively reared barn chicken which tastes of nothing but misery.

I never, ever order chicken in a fancy restaurant, principally because I'm a snob. Given the choice between chicken and rabbit I'll plump for the bunny every time. Quail? Yes please, waiter. Frogs legs? Mais bien sûr, Monsieur. It must be for show, or maybe an attempt at diet diversification. It can't really be for flavour because it's all just chicken to me. Not only do I go for these more "exotic" meats, but I pay over the odds for them too. God, I'm a sucker aren't I?

I first ate guinea fowl in France as a ten year old. On the dinner menu was a Suprême de Pintade which confused me because nowhere in my Tricolore textbook was there any mention of Pintades. "Mais qu'est-ce que c'est une pintade, Monsieur." I asked the waiter. "Guinea fowl", he replied. "Mais, qu'est-ce que c'est un guinea fowl", I asked again. He walked off, spluttering some nonsense about poulet.

Six years ago this very day I was eating another Suprême de Pintade in France. In case you're wondering I don't have this amazing memory where I can recall every meal I've eaten for the past ten years. I'm not the Rain Man of fine dining or anything. No, I remember it because it was the main course at my wedding and so it has a special place in my heart. Today It seems only appropriate that I should cook Suprême de Pintade aux Champignons for the love of my life and weirdly as we sit down to our romantic TV dinner in front of Celebrity Masterchef we see some guy from Brookside has done Guinea Fowl with Mushroom Sauce too. Unfortunately he's gone and put sun-dried tomatoes in there and John and Greg are not impressed. What a doofus.

Unsurprisingly our guinea fowl tastes of chicken, but thankfully we can also taste the Provencal sunshine, warm breezes, lavender, and the memories of a very happy day.


Jeena said...

Your guinea fowl looks amazing.

ros said...

It's interesting you mention rabbit on your list here. I used to think that rabbit tasted nothing like chicken until I had farmed rabbit. I think that is what most restaurants use. Now I never buy farmed rabbit and rarely order it in restaurants but I love wild rabbit and I think it is totally different to chicken.

Frogs legs on the other hand....

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