Stuffed Guinea Hen

Stuffed Guinea Hen
Stuffed Guinea HenPaolo Destefanis

This rustic dish from Italy's northernmost region, Friuli-Venezia Giulia, centers around guinea hen, a dark-meat bird with a pleasantly gamy flavor. The hen is stuffed with a pork-beef mixture that is wrapped for cooking to maintain its shape. At serving, the stuffing is unwrapped, sliced, and presented with polenta alongside it.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food

Stuffed Guinea Hen
Filled with a pork-and-beef stuffing, this recipe comes from Italy's northeasternmost region, Friuli-Venezia Giulia.
Yield: serves 2

For the Stuffing

  • 4 oz. ground pork
  • 2 oz. ground beef
  • 1 egg
  • 14 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • Leaves from 5–6 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Guinea Hen

  • 1 (2 1/2-lb.) guinea hen
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for greasing
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 carrot, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6–8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Polenta, to serve

Instructions

  1. Make the stuffing: Mix together pork, beef, egg, nutmeg, and parsley, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Form into a fat sausage shape, then wrap tightly in plastic to keep shape.
  2. For the guinea hen: Preheat oven to 450°. Wash guinea hen and dry with paper towels, then season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place wrapped stuffing into cavity and truss bird.
  3. Transfer bird to a platter. Untruss, then remove stuffing from cavity, unwrap, and cut into slices about 34'' thick; arrange on platter and set aside. Remove and discard vegetables, then stir flour into pan drippings and add remaining thyme sprigs. Cook over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then add stock. Increase heat to high and reduce for 3 minutes. Serve guinea hen and sausage stuffing with sauce and polenta.