Guinea Fowl – A Domesticated Game Bird

Guinea fowl are a bit smaller than the domestic hen and belong to the feathered game family. The flavourful meat is relatively dark and slightly reddish. When prepared correctly, the meat is very tender and is therefore considered a delicacy. The taste of the meat is slightly reminiscent of other game birds such as pheasant and partridge.

The domesticated guinea fowl, which are commonly used for breeding, mostly include the helmeted guinea fowl. They can reach up to 40 to 70 centimetres in size and weigh up to 1.3 to 2 kilograms. Their name comes from their characteristic feather coating with lots of small, bright spots on a dark background. Its thick plumage makes for a stark contrast between its body and its bare head and throat. The helmeted guinea fowl have a helmet-like bump on the top of their head.

Food Facts Food Facts

Guinea Fowl

Class

Numida meleagris

Calories

146 kcal per 100 g

Nutrients

0 g carbohydrate, 0 g fibre, 7g fat, 20g protein per 100g

Season

available year-round

Storage

refrigerate fresh guinea fowl wrapped in cling film or paper

Shelf life

2-3 days

Guinea Fowl – A French Delicacy with African Roots

France is by far the number one spot for both the breeding and export of guinea fowl, while Italy is the second most important guinea fowl supplier. Guinea fowl originated in Africa, where they are still widely used today and can be found practically everywhere. The tender meat has been regarded as a delicacy since antiquity. Over the course of time, the game bird was brought across to the Caribbean.

Guinea Fowl – More Than Just a Tasty Meat

Aside from its delicious flavour, there are plenty more reasons to occasionally integrate this game meat into your diet. The lean meat is low in calories and fat and contains magnesium, calcium, iron and several B vitamins. Guinea fowl contains more protein than both chicken and beef.

Guinea Fowl – Preparation

Fresh guinea fowl can be stored in the refrigerator for just a few days. Frozen guinea fowl keeps for longer but, before preparing, make sure to let it defrost in the refrigerator for approximately 20 hours. Once it has completely thawed, pour the defrosting liquid away and wash the bird thoroughly – inside and out. The bird is then ready to be prepared.

Generally speaking, guinea fowl can be prepared in a very similar way to pheasant and well known recipes can simply be used for both game birds. Guinea fowl breast is quite versatile in the kitchen and can be combined with almost every vegetable - potatoes make for a good side dish. Roasting is one of the tastiest ways to prepare guinea fowl. In order to achieve a tender meat with a crispy skin, occasionally spoon its own roasting juices over the bird during cooking. Meat from older animals is often better braised, stewed or steamed.

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