Pan-fried breast of guinea fowl with morel and bacon risotto

Pan-fried breast of guinea fowl with morel and bacon risotto

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
30g dried morels
thyme sprigs
4 boneless guinea fowl breasts, with skin
35g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
75 g piece bacon
1 onion
1 garlic clove
250g mixed wild mushrooms, including morels if possible
1 litre Chicken and veal stock
300g arborio rice
100ml dry white wine
30g parmesan cheese
small bunch flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat the oven to 170ºC.
  2. Put the dried morels in a small bowl, cover them in boiling water and leave to soak for 30 minutes.
  3. Finely chop enough thyme leaves to give you 1 tablespoon, sprinkle all over the guinea fowl breasts and season with salt and pepper. In a large ovenproof frying pan, melt 15 g of the butter with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Over a low to medium heat, fry the breasts skin side down until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over and transfer the pan to the oven to finish cooking for about 15–20 minutes, while you are making the risotto. Once cooked, the guinea fowl can be set aside to rest while the risotto is finished.
  4. To make the risotto, derind the bacon and cut into small dice. Halve, peel and finely chop the onion and peel and crush the garlic. Wipe clean the wild mushrooms and tear into bite-sized pieces. Heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan and add the bacon. Cook until lightly browning, then add the onion. Cook over a low heat until the onion is very soft, then add the garlic and fresh mushrooms and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  5. Heat the stock in a separate pan. Strain the soaking liquor from the morels into the pan. Roughly chop the soaked morels.
  6. Add the rice to the onion and mushrooms and stir until the rice is coated in oil and heated through. Add the wine and simmer until it is absorbed. Add the morels and a ladleful of stock, and stir until it has been absorbed into the rice. Repeat until the stock has all been incorporated. This should take about 25 minutes. The risotto is cooked when the grains are al dente and the mixture is still sloppy, rather than dry or stiff. Add more stock or some hot water if necessary.
  7. Adjust the seasoning and then beat in the remaining butter and grate in the Parmesan. Stir well, cover with a lid and leave to stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, finely chop enough parsley to give you 3 tablespoons.
  8. Carve the guinea fowl breasts by cutting into 3 or 4 pieces on the diagonal. Stir the parsley through the risotto and serve a small mound on each plate, topped with a guinea fowl breast. Sautéed morels would be a lovely extravagant garnish.


  • Moroccan spiced guinea fowl with hazelnut quinoa: Omit the risotto. Mix 1 tablespoon ras-al-hanout with 1 tablespoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon sea salt. Rub all over the guinea fowl breasts and leave to stand for 30 minutes. Cook them as for the main recipe. Meanwhile, cook 100 g quinoa in 300 ml stock for 15–20 minutes until tender, then drain and stir through a handful of toasted, skinned hazelnuts, 1 finely chopped shallot, 1 tablespoon roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the guinea fowl.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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