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Guinea Hen with Bacon, Cabbage, and Apples


Apples and cabbage get cooked with white wine and the savory juices from the roasting pan to create an irresistible bed on which this succulent game bird rests.

  • Servings: 4

Source: Martha Stewart Living, October/November 1993


  • 2 small heads savoy cabbage
  • 1 guinea hen, about 3 pounds
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 thin slices bacon
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
  • 2 apples, cored and cut into eighths
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup Brown Game Stock or chicken stock


  1. Remove tough outer leaves from cabbage. Trim large ribs and shred cabbage coarsely. Blanch for 1 minute in a pot of salted boiling water. Drain, and set aside.

  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Wash hen and pat dry. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Starting at the neck, lay 10 overlapping slices of bacon over breast of bird.

  3. To truss bird, place it breast side up with legs pointing toward you. Tuck wing tips underneath body. Cut off at least 36 inches of kitchen string. Pass center of string underneath wings and body below neck cavity. Holding string ends in either hand, pull toward you so that string runs between body and thighs. Cross strings underneath tailbone; pull up, catching legs and crossing them. Cross string over legs, pulling to secure. Loop strings around legs again, and tie in a knot on top.

  4. Melt 1 tablespoon butter, and brush on legs and skin. Roast bird on rack in roasting pan for 1 hour, basting occasionally, until legs are a little loose when you shake them.

  5. Transfer bird to a plate, and cover with foil. Pour off and discard fat from pan; place pan on stove over medium heat. Cut remaining bacon into 1/2-inch squares, and cook until crisp. Drain on paper towel. Pour off and discard fat from pan.

  6. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in a saute pan. Place apples in pan, and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar, and continue cooking until apples are golden brown and softened, about 10 minutes.

  7. Add wine and stock to roasting pan. Bring to a boil, and stir over medium heat, scraping up brown bits. Allow liquid to reduce slightly. Add cabbage and season to taste. Stir, and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add bacon and apples, and remove from heat.

  8. Spoon cabbage and apples onto a platter. Place bird, whole or carved, on top. Serve.

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