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This recipe is certainly exotic – honey and five-spice chilli guinea fowl served with a fresh fruit salsa splashed with soy sauce. If you can source one, serve in a banana leaf to impress.
Preheat the oven to 200C/425F/Gas 6. To prepare the guinea fowl, turn the bird onto its breast on a sturdy chopping board and cut carefully on either side of the backbone with good scissors or poultry shears. Discard the bone. Cut off the end of the foot joints and wing tips and discard.
Open the guinea fowl out and place on the board so that the breast side is facing upwards. Press down heavily with the palms of your hands to break the breastbone and flatten the bird as evenly as possible. This will help it cook more quickly.
Drizzle a baking tray with one tablespoon of the oil and place the guinea fowl on top. Rub all over with the remaining oil and tuck in the legs and wings.
Mix the crushed chillies, five-spice, sea salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the guinea fowl and rub into the skin with your hands. Roast the guinea fowl for 20 minutes.
While the guinea fowl is cooking, put the pineapple on a board and cut off the top and bottom. Remove the prickly skin with a sharp knife and dig out any ‘eyes’ with the tip of your knife. Cut the pineapple lengthways into sixths and remove the central core. Cut the pineapple into roughly 1.5cm/¾in triangle slices and put in a bowl.
Peel the cucumber and cut lengthways in half. Cut into 1cm/½in slices and add to the pineapple. Bash the back of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon to dislodge the seeds – you may need to help some of them out with a knife or spoon. Put the seeds and any juice in a bowl. Mix the honey and soy sauce in a small bowl.
Take the bird out of the oven and brush with the honey mixture. Return to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked, golden-brown and glossy. (The juices should run clear when the thickest part of one of the thighs is pierced with a skewer.) While the bird continues to roast, trim the coriander and discard the stalks. Pick the leaves off the mint stalks. Peel and finely slice the red onion. Put the herbs and onion to one side.
Transfer the guinea fowl to a board and leave to rest for a few minutes while the dressing is made. Tip the contents of the baking tray into a heatproof bowl and leave to stand for five minutes. Carefully spoon off any fat that has risen to the surface with a spoon.
Stir the fresh lime juice into the pan juices, just a little at a time, tasting between additions. You want the dressing to be tangy but not sour. Season the dressing with a little salt and pepper and an extra dash of soy sauce if you like.
Carve the guinea fowl into chunky pieces and arrange on a clean banana leaf, or large serving platter, with the pineapple and cucumber. Scatter the herbs and onion on top. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and any juice and toss very lightly together. Drizzle over the lime dressing and serve immediately while the guinea fowl is warm.
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