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Guinea Fowl with Tarragon-Dill Butter (Parelhoen met Dragon-Dille Boter)


Guinea Fowl with Tarragon-Dill Butter (Parelhoen met Dragon-Dille Boter)

Roast Guinea Fowl with Tarragon & Dill Butter

Photo © Daisy Obdam
Guinea fowl is called 'parelhoen' in Dutch, which loosely translates as 'pearl hen', a reference to the bird's gorgeous gunmetal grey feathers with pearly strands of white dots. This African bird makes an excellent special occasion alternative to chicken, because it is just as easy to prepare, but has more of a wow-factor (perhaps because it's not as common). In fact, Guinea fowl tastes ever-so-slightly wilder than chicken, but is milder than pheasant. It's also a smaller bird than turkey or chicken - perfect when entertaining four or fewer people. While delicious plain, carefully stuffing herbed butter under the skin ensures that the meat is full of garden-fresh flavors.

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4


  • 1 guinea fowl
  • 3 1/2 tbsp butter (50 g)
  • 1 tbsp chopped red onion
  • 1 tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1 lemon, juice and zest
  • Salt & pepper, to taste


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

Remove any inner organs from the inner cavity and wash the bird under running water - inside and out - and dry with clean kitchen paper. Place in a baking dish.

Make the herb butter by mixing together the softened butter, red onion, herbs, lemon zest, salt and freshly ground pepper. You don't have to be precise, just do it all to taste.

Rub the butter all over the bird, keeping some for the inside. Gently loosen the skin from the neck downwards with your fingers and work the butter down the flesh under the skin, pushing the butter outwards in a massaging motion as you go.

Squeeze the lemons and drizzle the juice all over the bird. Place the squeezed lemon halves inside the cavity to capture all its flavor.

Roast for about 75 minutes, depending on the size of the bird. You can tell whether it's cooked by piercing the guinea fowl in the thickest part of the thigh - the juices should run clear.

Serve with white winter vegetable mash, apple sauce or red cabbage & apples and cinnamon glazed carrots.

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