Guinea fowl cooked with shallots, ‘meaty’ chestnut mushrooms, peas and spinach in Madeira wine makes a great pie filling. In this modern version of a traditional favourite, the filling is baked in a pudding basin topped with a lovely, soft-textured potato pastry crust. Serve with Brussels sprouts and baby carrots.
Instead of guinea fowl, you can use chicken or turkey breast fillets, as well as skinless boneless pheasant or duck breasts. * The pastry dough and filling can be prepared ahead of time, then the pie assembled and baked just before serving. * This is a good way to use up leftover cooked poultry. Skip step 3, and add the diced skinless, boneless poultry with the spinach. Heat through, then spoon into the pudding basin, cover with the pastry lid and bake as in the main recipe. * For a Chinese chicken and corn pudding, stir-fry 400 g (14 oz) diced skinless, boneless chicken breasts (fillets) in 2 tbsp groundnut oil with 2 crushed garlic cloves for 3–4 minutes. Add 1 seeded and chopped fresh red chilli, 1 tbsp finely chopped, fresh root ginger, 250 g (8½ oz) halved chestnut mushrooms and 150 g (5½ oz) baby corn, sliced at an angle. Stir-fry for 1–2 minutes, then stir in 90 ml (3 fl oz) each dry sherry and water, 2 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp clear honey and 1/2 tsp 5-spice powder. Simmer for 10 minutes, covered, then thicken with cornflour as in the main recipe. Add 100 g (3½ oz) shredded spring greens and 4 chopped spring onions. Pile into the pudding basin and top with the potato pastry crust (flavoured with 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander instead of tarragon). Bake as in the main recipe.
Originally a game bird, guinea fowl is now classified as poultry. Like chicken it is another low-fat source of protein, especially if the skin is removed, as in this recipe, and it provides B vitamins and iron. * When potatoes were first introduced into Europe they were believed to have ‘weakening’ properties. More recently they have been considered fattening. In fact potatoes are very nutritious and low in fat, which makes them a useful food to include in a healthy diet. * Shallots, a variety of onion, tend to have a much milder and subtler flavour than the onion itself. Like the onion, they contain some vitamin C and B vitamins.
A, B6, niacin, copper * B1, C, folate, potassium, selenium, zinc * B2, E, calcium, iron
This is well worth the effort. The pastry was delicious (I replaced 1oz of white flour with wholemeal flour and it still tasted lovely).I have never used guinea fowl in this way but it worked beautifully. I like the fact that there are plenty of veggies in there too. I would like to try with duck breasts next time. Great recipe and lots of useful nutritional info as well. Many thanks! - 21 Mar 2012