Guinea Fowl with Plums and Vin Santo

Originally a dish for Tuscan nobility, Giancarlo Caldesi gives poultry a royal roasting in this smart dinner party dish
By Giancarlo and Katie Caldesi
Guinea Fowl with Plums and Vin Santo
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 10 plums, halved
  • 25 g caster sugar
  • 1 guinea fowl
  • 50 g plain flour, sifted
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml vin santo
  • 500 ml chicken stock

For the soffritto

  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 red onions, (150g approx), very finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, (150g approx), very finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, (150g approx), very finely chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, left whole and crushed with the flat side of the knife


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

2. Lay the plums onto a baking tray and sprinkle over the sugar. Roast the plums for 10-12 minutes depending on their size or until they are cooked through. Set aside.

3. For the soffritto: heat the olive oil in a large pan and stir in the onion, celery and carrot. Season with the salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the rosemary, bay leaves and garlic. Cook over a low heat for 15 minutes, stirring often - this slow cooking makes the onion become sweet. Once the soffritto is cooked and thickened, remove the rosemary and bay leaves.

4. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, joint the guinea fowl into 8 pieces. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Put the flour on a plate and dip each piece of meat so that it's coated on both sides. Shake off any excess flour.

5. Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick, ovenproof frying pan. When hot, add the guinea fowl and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until golden brown and crisp, turning during cooking. Drain off excess oil and pour over the vin santo, allowing it to bubble up.

6. Add the guinea fowl, vin santo juices from the pan and stock and to the soffritto. Stir to combine all the ingredients. Put the pan in the preheated oven and cook for 30-35 minutes. Stir from time to time and if towards the end of the cooking time it begins to look dry, add a little more stock.

7. To check if the meat is cooked, pierce the guinea fowl with a skewer - when the juices run clear it's ready. Put the tray of plums back into the oven to reheat for 5 minutes. Divide the meat between 4 plates so that everyone gets 2 portions of guinea fowl. Spoon the plums onto each plate, pour over the juices from the roasting trays and serve.

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