Nigel Slater’s roast guinea hen and chocolate ginger mousse recipes | Life and magnificence


Every time I roast a guinea hen, or prepare dinner dinner 1 in a lidded pot with cider, apples and rosemary, I ask myself why this doesn’t happen additional generally. The pores and pores and skin crisps pleasingly, the flesh is gently gamey and the roast bones make a flavoursome broth. There is enough meat to feed 4 at the commonplace rooster – they’re no longer incessantly very large – alternatively infrequently one thing left for sandwiches as there’s with a huge rooster. Maybe that’s it: my fondness for a roast rooster sandwich with a slice of thyme and onion stuffing, sprigs of watercress and a thick glide of mayonnaise on a Sunday night time.

A guinea hen roasts sweetly and is good value. I at all times stuff them with cooked entire wheat, herbed breadcrumbs or overwhelmed floury potatoes. The roasting juices trickle down by means of the stuffing, enriching it with the flavor of the rooster. We seem to have gained out of the observe of making stuffing, alternatively I love each and every phase about it: the easiest way it makes the beef pass further, together with one different savoury issue to the plate and introducing a modern take note of lemon or soft spice, or regardless of else we season it with.

I’ve moved on from the traditional sausage-based stuffing, using lighter mediums, similar to mograbia and fregola – the Sardinian semolina pasta, like large pearls of couscous. Oh, and freekeh. The green wheat works in this case, too.

It took me a long time to determine why I handle this kind of keenness for Easter eggs. I’ve finally clicked that it’s the thinness of the chocolate that appeals – so crisp and efficient and melting is it. I’ve certainly not been a large number of partial to chocolate truffles, finding them too rich after dinner and who prefer them as, say, a mid-afternoon handle. That said, I wouldn’t say no to a conventional chocolate mousse, alternatively I like it with a crisp, thin, curling almond biscuit or one of those Belgian waffle wafers.

This week, I took to crumbling soft ginger cookies and folding them by means of the mousse previous than it devices – crunchy nuggets a number of the many soft, fudgy chocolate.

I want to serve chocolate mousse with a jug of straightforward double cream. Something to flatter the mousse rather than smother it. Happy Easter.

Roast guinea hen, fregola stuffing and peas with lemon and mint

This stuffing works successfully with rooster, too. The fregola with herbs and lemon started lifestyles as a side dish for grilled lamb. Here, it benefits from the juices of the rooster, trickling by means of as it roasts.

Serves 4
fregola 200g
lemon thyme leaves 2 tbsp
parsley a small bunch
butter 30g
bay leaves 3
guinea hen 1 x 1.5kg
olive oil 3 tbsp

For the peas:
parsley 10g
olive oil 3 tbsp
lemon juice of 1
peas 300g, frozen
mint leaves a small handful

Bring a medium saucepan of water to the boil, salt it lightly, then upload the fregola and bring once more to the boil. Lower the heat to a simmer, and pass away to prepare dinner dinner for 10-15 mins, until al dente. Drain and set aside. Set the oven at 200C/gas mark 6.

Chop the lemon thyme leaves and stir into the fregola. Remove the leaves from the parsley and kind of chop, then upload to the fregola with the butter decrease into small pieces. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the bay leaves then spoon the fregola contained within the guinea hen. Rub the olive oil over the rooster and season, then roast throughout the preheated oven for approximately 40-45 mins.

Remove the guinea hen from the oven and pass away to rest for 10 mins. For the peas: chop the parsley, warmth the olive oil in a large, shallow pan then squeeze throughout the lemon juice. Tip throughout the peas, cover with a lid so the peas steam, and prepare dinner dinner for 3-4 mins, then stir in just a bit salt and the parsley and mint leaves.

Carve the guinea hen then serve with the peas, stuffing and juices from the tin.

Chocolate ginger mousse

Crunch time: chocolate ginger mousse.

Crunch time: chocolate ginger mousse. Photograph: Jonathan Lovekin for the Observer

Chocolate mousse benefits from the addition of 1 factor crunchy. Here, ginger biscuits, smashed and tossed with chocolate. The slightly chewy fashion works upper than hard-as-nails gingernuts.

Serves 6
For the ginger crumb:
dark chocolate 75g
butter 40g
delicate ginger biscuits 200g

For the mousse:
dark chocolate 300g
butter 40g
coffee, sizzling 2 tbsp
eggs 5

For the ginger crumb: wreck the chocolate into pieces and melt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Put the biscuits proper right into a freezer bag and overwhelm into small, gravel-sized pieces with a rolling pin. Alternatively, use a foods processor, alternatively take care not to cut back them to efficient crumbs. Stir the butter gently into the melted chocolate. (Too so much stirring will make the chocolate “seize”.) Fold the biscuit crumbs into the chocolate.

Make the mousse: wreck the chocolate into small pieces and put it in a heatproof blending bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and pass away the chocolate to melt without stirring. Separate the eggs. Cut the butter into small pieces and upload to the chocolate, then pour throughout the coffee, stirring lightly. Remove the bowl from the heat.

Beat the egg whites until just about stiff then fold them into the chocolate. Pour a third of the mousse proper right into a dish, upload a layer of the crumbled chocolate-covered crumbs, then a 2nd layer, then additional crumbs, the rest mousse then finally additional chocolate crumbs.

Refrigerate for 4 hours or until the mousse has set.

Email Nigel at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @NigelSlater