Guinea fowl on pagnotta bread with girolles

Taking advantage of autumns bounty, Italian food expert Theo Randall cooks an inspired alternative to chicken
By Theo Randall
Guinea fowl on pagnotta bread with girolles
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2-4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes plus 1 hour marinating
  • Effort: medium


  • 2 sprigs thyme, plus 1 tsp chopped leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 100 ml marsala wine
  • 1.2 kg guinea fowl, spatchcocked and boned
  • 200 g swiss chard, stalks removed
  • 2 slices pagnotta bread, (see Cook's tips)
  • butter, for frying
  • 200 g girolles, cleaned and halved
  • 2 tsp chopped parsley
  • 2 tbsp mascarpone
  • 1 lemon, juice only
  • 150 g rocket, dressed with olive oil and lemon juice

Tips and Suggestions

Pagnotta is a crusty Italian loaf made from semolina. It has a hard, deep-brown crust and a soft, white centre.


1. Combine the thyme sprigs, garlic and marsala in a non-reactive bowl and marinate the guinea fowl for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, blanch the swiss chard for 1 minute, then drain and refresh under cold running water. Set aside.

3. Heat an ovenproof pan or skillet until hot, add the guinea fowl, skin-side down, and cook until golden brown. Turn over and seal the meat side for 1 minute.

4. Remove the guinea fowl and put the pagnotta bread in the pan, then put the guinea fowl back on top of the bread. Transfer to the oven and roast for 25 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest in a warm place while you prepare the mushrooms.

5. Melt a knob of butter in a heavy-based pan and gently fry the mushrooms until tender. Stir in the chopped parsley, and then add the mixture to the guinea fowl.

6. Melt another knob of butter in the pan and gently fry the blanched Swiss chard until warmed through.

7. Remove the guinea fowl from the roasting pan and cut into rough pieces. Take the bread out of the pan (which should have absorbed the juices yet still be crisp), and set aside with the guinea fowl.

8. Put the roasting pan, with any juices, back on the heat. Stir in the mascarpone, lemon juice and chopped thyme to make a quick sauce. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

9. To serve, arrange the bread on a large serving dish with the swiss chard on top. Put the guinea fowl on top of the chard and spoon over the sauce from the pan. Scatter with the mushrooms and finish with some rocket leaves, dressed with oil and lemon.

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