Guinea hen has a somewhat more assertive flavor than chicken, and it makes a good partner for spicy, earthy lentils.
- 3 lb (1.35kg) guinea hen
- 2 carrots, cut into chunks
- 2 celery stalks, halved
- 2 shallots, halved
- 1 bay leaf
- 10 whole black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 5 oz (140g) pancetta, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 small fresh hot red chile, seeded and minced
- 1½ cups French green (Puy) lentils, rinsed and well drained
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the guinea hen in a pan with the carrots, celery, shallots, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then simmer for 45 minutes, covered.
2. Lift the guinea hen on to a plate; keep warm. Strain the poaching liquid back into the pan and boil for 10 minutes, or until reduced.
3. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan and cook the pancetta, stirring often, for about 6 minutes, or until golden. Add the garlic and chile, and cook gently for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove from the heat and add the lentils.
4. Pour 1¾ cups of the reduced stock into the lentils. Bring to a boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, until tender, adding stock as needed. Add the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper. Meanwhile, remove the skin from the guinea hen and cut into pieces.
5. Serve the lentils, topped with pieces of guinea hen. Spoon over the stock, if desired.