A small, domesticated fowl somewhat similar to chicken or pheasant in flavour, but with a darker, slightly dryer and gamier-tasting flesh. There are several species of guinea fowl and all originate from Africa, but can be found raised in Europe.

Read our guide to buying, preparing and cooking guinea fowl, then check out our collection of guinea fowl recipes.

When is guinea fowl available?

Guinea fowl are at their best in the autumn between September and November.

What to look for when buying guinea fowl

You can buy guinea fowl from most large supermarkets, as well as butchers and trusted producers. For the most tender results, choose birds that have been slaughtered no more than 14 weeks after birth. Older birds will dry out more easily, so are better suited to slow-cooking methods such as braising.

How to prepare guinea fowl

Because guinea fowl is naturally drier than chicken, it is particularly important not to overcook. You can wrap the breast with pancetta or prosciutto to prevent it from drying out.

How to store guinea fowl

Remove giblets from the cavity and keep well wrapped in the fridge, on a tray, covered with baking parchment or foil for up to two days. Make sure it's on the bottom shelf so that any juices don't contaminate other food; it's particularly important to keep the guinea fowl away from other cooked meats in the fridge.

Thaw frozen guinea fowl in the fridge and use within two days. Never refreeze defrosted guinea fowl.

Alternatives to guinea fowl

Try grouse, duck or chicken.