Guinea Fowl à la Niçoise

Originally a preparation for pigeon, we decided to try this dish with guinea fowl (pintade in French) when we couldn’t find pigeon at the local market. The sweet glazed onions in combination with the snow peas and salty olives creates an interesting and tasty flavor profile for the darker fleshed bird. Although you could also use chicken, I would stick to the darker-meat thighs and drum sticks. Serve with boiled new potatoes.

Based on the recipe Pigeons à la niçoise in Petit Larousse de la cuisine : 1800 recettes

1 guinea fowl cut into serving size pieces
1 lb snow peas, washed and stringed
Oil or butter for browning the bird
1 recipe glazed onions, see below – can be prepared while the bird is cooking.
1 bay leaf
1 branch summer savory
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup niçoise olives, pitted
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil or butter in a Dutch oven over medium high heat and brown the guinea fowl pieces. You may want to do this in batches to avoid crowding. Add the bay leaf, summer savory and white wine and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook until the bird is tender, about 40 minutes. Add the olives for the final 5-10 minutes of cooking and correct the seasoning.

Meanwhile steam the snow peas until crisp tender, about 3-5 minutes, depending on your taste.

To serve, make a bed of snow peas on a serving platter and arrange the guinea fowl pieces with the olives and the glazed onion over the snow peas.

Glazed Onions

12 small onions
1 T butter
1 T sugar
Pinch of salt

Blanch the onions in boiling water for 1 minute, dunk in ice water to cool and slip off the skin.

Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat and add the onions. Add enough water to just cover the onions and add the sugar and salt. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a low simmer. Let cook for 10 to 15 minutes until the most of the water has evaporated and the remaining liquid is a syrupy consistency. Cook for an additional 5 minutes, just until the onions are shiny and golden.