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guinea fowl

Pronunciation: [GIHN-ee]

Thought to have originated in Guinea, West Africa, this small bird is a relative of the chicken and partridge. The meat of the guinea fowl is dark, somewhat dry and has a pleasantly gamey flavor. Guinea hens are more tender than the male of the species. The hens range in size from ¾ pound (called guinea squab) to about 4 pounds. Guinea fowl are available fresh and frozen. If fresh, loosen package wrapping slightly and remove any giblets from the body cavity before storing in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Frozen guinea fowl should be thawed overnight in the refrigerator and used within 2 days. Never refreeze fowl once it's thawed. Guinea fowl may be prepared in any way suitable for chicken, keeping in mind that because the meat is drier, moist cooking methods will produce a more satisfactory end result. Any fowl over 2½ pounds should probably be barded with fat before cooking to ensure moistness.