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Holiday Feature

 

Roast Guinea Hens Stuffed
with Mangos and Scallions

by John Manikowski

 

This meal is simple and tasty but don't let anyone raze you about the appearance of the hens after you have stuffed the mango and scallion under the skin. It appears unnatural, lumpy and a little bizarre but the results are worth it.

Serve with mashed potatoes and with endive, split in half, roasted with olive oil, garlic and thyme.

Ingredients
  • 2 Guinea hens (or substitute 2 pheasants, 2 grouse or 4 pigeons)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarse ground pepper
  • 1 to 2 ripe mangoes
  • 6 to 8 scallions, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, slivered
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup dry vermouth
Preparation

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Peel the mango, cut the flesh off the seed and slice into 1/4-inch pieces. Set aside. Wash the birds thoroughly inside and out and pat dry. Sprinkle some of the salt and pepper inside the cavities. Pull away the skin of the bird by carefully inserting a finger under the skin at the neck, creating a space between the breast meat and the skin. Do the same on the other end, below the ribs. with a sharp knife make 2-3 slits in the skin and flesh of both legs on all sides. Insert some of the mango slices, scallions and garlic under the skin in both the breast areas and in the slits in the legs. Stuff the remainder inside the cavities.

Place birds in a large roasting pan, pour some of the olive oil inside the cavities and drizzle the rest over the birds. Sprinkle with parsley and remaining salt and pepper.

Cover and roast in the oven for about 45 minutes. Remove cover, baste and continue roasting for about another 1/2 hour or until an internal thermometer registers 165-170 degrees F. (If using grouse or especially pigeon, the total roasting time will be less.)

To make a sauce from the drippings: Remove the birds from the pan and set aside. Drain off any fat from the baking pan and add the vermouth. On top of the stove, simmer over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, scraping together all the browned pieces from the bottom of the pan. Reserve.

Split birds in half, serving one-half (or 1 whole pigeon) per person and ladle some juice over each portion of meat before serving.

Serves 4.

Wine Recommendation

A Rioja by Marques de Marrieta Ygay, Reserva. This earthy wine has spicy, berry flavors with a hint of cinnamon. This is a refreshing wine, balanced nicely with the juices created by the mango, scallions and garlic.

 

John Manikowski's Game Recipes

Grilled Duck Breasts with Orange, Ginger and Balsamic Sauce
Upside-Down Roast Canada Goose
Roast Guinea Hens Stuffed with Mangos and Scallions
Smoked Mallard Duck Legs with Hoisin Sauce Over Couscous
Breast of Mallard with Morels and Pistachio-Encrusted Figs
Calvados Pheasant
Pheasant with Olives and Fresh Plums
Smoked Breast Of Pheasant Salad with Pistachio and Date Dressing
Leeky Pheasant
Quail Sautéed with Melon, Thyme and Red Onion
Grilled, Butterflied Wood Duck with Dried Cherry Sauce
Sources for Wild Game
About John Manikowski
An Introduction to Turkey Alternatives

Thanksgiving Recipes
Christmas Recipes

 
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