Guinea Fowls with Almond Sauce

A sumptuous dish of guinea fowls in a cream, sherry and almond sauce, this dish makes an excellent dinner party meal, served with croquette potatoes and peas or cauliflower, and a light red wine such as Macon Rouge.

2 x

1 ½ lb. guinea fowls, cleaned

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon white pepper

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

3 oz. butter, cut into small pieces

8 streaky bacon slices garlic clove, crushed

1 oz. slivered blanched almonds

2 tablespoons sherry

8 fl. oz. single cream

Rub the birds all over with the salt, pepper and marjoram. Dot 1 ounce of the butter over the birds and wrap four slices of the bacon around each bird, securing them with trussing thread or skewers. Set the birds aside.

In a large, heavy flameproof casserole, melt the remaining butter over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, put in the birds, breast sides down. Reduce the heat to low, cover the casserole and cook for 20 minutes.

Turn the birds over on to the other breast and cook for a further 20 minutes, basting them frequently with the cooking juices in the casserole.

Turn the birds on to their backs and cook for a further 20 minutes.

Remove the casserole from the heat and take the birds out of the casserole. Remove and discard the trussing thread or skewers and bacon slices. Quickly carve the birds and transfer the meat to a heated serving dish. Keep the meat hot while you make the sauce.

Pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the cooking juices, return the casserole to the heat and increase the heat to moderate. Add the garlic and almonds and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes, or until the almonds are lightly browned. Stir in the sherry and cream. Reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce, stirring constantly, for a further 3 minutes. Do not allow the sauce to boil.

Remove the pan from the heat. Pour the sauce over the meat and serve immediately.

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