Whole grilled guinea hen

Posted on November 26, 2012

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If this holiday season you are looking for an alternative to the traditional roast turkey, try a game bird like guinea.  You can always roast it, but this grilled version adds a smoky depth of flavor and crispy skin your dinner guests will love.  Not only that, but grilling leaves room in your oven for other holiday favorites like sweet potatoes and pie.   These birds are much smaller than a turkey (the size of a small chicken) so if you are feeding a crowd, you’ll want more than one.  They have a flavor similar to pheasant, which is a bit richer than chicken, but no as robust as duck.  I got mine from my favorite meat vendor, Natures Choice Farms, which operates out of central Il.  They have delivery sites all around the Chicago land area.

1 guinea hen

2 tbsp grass fed butter

1 tbsp fresh rosemary, minced

1 tbsp fresh basil, minced

1 tbsp fresh thyme, minced

1 tsp fresh oregano, minced

sea salt and fresh ground pepper

2-3 sprigs each of fresh rosemary, thyme and basil

Create an herb butter by thoroughly mixing minced herbs with softened butter.  Rub butter mixture in between the skin and meat of the bird, making sure you get all of the meat, including the legs.  Gently work your fingers under the skin, prying it loose from the meat, starting at the leg and neck cavities.  Stuff the cavity with sprigs of fresh herbs, and a bit of herb butter.  If you’re feeling fancy, tie the legs together with kitchen twin.  Salt and pepper skin thoroughly, gently rubbing it into the skin.  Grill bird on both sides on medium heat until meat is cooked through, and skin is crisp and brown 30-45 minutes total.  Enjoy!

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