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Guinea fowl breasts with spring vegetables and pesto



4 guinea fowl breasts, skin removed
handful fresh spinach leaves, blanched for 1 minute
few sprigs thyme, plus 1tsp leaves
500ml chicken or guinea fowl stock

For the pesto
100ml extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, chopped
2 handfuls basil leaves
50g parmesan cheese, grated
30g pine nuts
zest 1 lemon plus juice, to taste

To serve
250g baby carrots
150g green beans
100g fresh peas
250g small asparagus spears
100g new potatoes, cooked until soft and sliced
1tbsp virgin olive oil


Lay a guinea fowl breast on a piece of cling film and bat it out evenly with a rolling pin. Season with sea salt, black pepper and
a scattering of thyme leaves. Cover with spinach leaves. Using the cling film, roll up the breast tightly and secure firmly by twisting the ends. Repeat with the other three breasts and place in the fridge to firm up.

Put all the ingredients for the pesto into a jug and whizz with a hand blender until it forms a textured paste. Season to taste with a little lemon juice.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil and cook the carrots until just tender. Remove and transfer to a cool, wide dish. Blanch the green beans for 1 minute and transfer to the same dish. Then cook the peas for 2-3 minutes and asparagus for 2 minutes. The vegetables should still be al dente.

Mix the vegetables together in the bowl with the cooked, sliced new potatoes and add a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil.

In a saucepan, heat the stock and thyme sprigs and drop in the cling film-wrapped guinea fowl breasts. Poach for about 15 minutes until cooked through. Remove the breasts, wrap in foil, set aside and keep warm. Cook the stock down until it has reduced by about a third.

Warm the vegetables by tossing briefly in a large pan over a medium heat. Stir a couple of spoonfuls of the pesto into the stock to make a sauce. Unwrap the guinea fowl breasts and cut into slices. Serve alongside the vegetables with the sauce.


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