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Guinea Fowl with Lentil Puree

ingredients

serves 6-8
4 guinea fowl, each weighing 800 g (1 3/4 lbs)
2 onions
1 garlic clove
2 oz (50 g) bacon
5 tbsp oil
300 g (11 oz) 1 3/4 cups red lentils
1 cup (8 fl oz) 250 ml red wine
4 oz (100 g) 1/2 cup soured cream
1 bay leaf
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
3 crushed juniper berries
4 thin rashers streaky bacon
Bunch fresh basil
1 egg

method

1. Peel onions and garlic, chop finely with 50 g (2 oz) of bacon and saute in 2 tbsp oil.

2. Add lentils, 125 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup red wine, water, soured cream and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes until soft.

3. Wash and dry guinea fowl, season with salt and pepper and rub well with juniper berries.

4. Cover breast of each bird with 1 bacon rasher and truss.

5. Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F) GasMark 7.

6. Brown guinea fowl in remaining oil before roasting for 20 minutes in oven.

7. Pour over remaining red wine and continue cooking guinea fowl for 30 minutes longer.

8. Remove bacon after 20 minutes of this time.

9. Meanwhile, discard bay leaf and puree lentils.

10. Chop basil finely and stir into puree with egg, salt and pepper.

11. Carve guinea fowl and serve on bed of lentil puree, garnished with basil leaves.

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