Suprêmes de pintade au miel et au thym

pintade4The guinea fowl is a pretty bird, known as pintade in French because of its polka-dot plumage, which looks like it could have been painted by a pointillist like Seurat (pintade deriving from the Portuguese pintado, meaning painted). The guinea fowl is also a delicious bird, frequently seen on the French table. Although it is farmed, it retains a slightly gamey taste — a throwback to its days in the wilds of Africa. The flavors of honey, garlic and thyme enhance this wildness with aromas of the African (or Provençal) brush.

Suprêmes de pintade au miel et au thym / Breast of guinea fowl with honey and thyme

The fact that guinea fowl are not available everywhere is not really a problem, for this recipe may be prepared using chicken or duck as well. You simply need to adjust the cooking time. But if you can get guinea fowl, I would suggest trying it. Why this bird is not widely farmed in the States and elsewhere in the English-speaking world is a mystery. It’s been around in Europe since it was brought over from African in Greek and Roman times, and has been farmed in France since the 15th century. It’s a free-range bird, meaning it receives none of the hormones or antibiotics used in intensive farming. Maybe maybe that helps explain why it is so delicious on the plate.

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