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Guinea hen with pears

Guinea hen with pears

A dish that’s fit for a Queen (as well as her subjects!), delicately seasoned with a bouquet of warmly fragrant spices. If you don’t have Poire William, it can easily be replaced by Calvados, Cognac or Brandy.  


  • 1 Guinea hen
  • 1 Tbsp French Four Spice blend 
  • 1 Tbsp salt 
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 4 Tbsp un-salted butter 
  • 1 cup small onions, peeled   
  • 4 medium pears, not too ripe 
  • ½ cup white wine OR cider 
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 4 Tbsp un-salted butter, cold
  • 3 oz Poire William (opt.)


  1. 1

    Heat the oven to 375 °F. Grind the spices and salt. Rub the Guinea hen with the blend.

  2. 2

    Place a casserole on medium. Heat the oil and butter then add the Guinea hen once the butter begins to foam. Brown on all sides.

  3. 3

    Place the small onions around the hen and put in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes.

  4. 4

    Meanwhile, peel, cut and core the pears. Place in a bowl with the wine and lemon juice.  

  5. 5

    After 30 minutes of cooking, sprinkle the hen with its rendered fat and cover. Continue cooking for another 30 minutes.

  6. 6

    Turn off the oven and remove the casserole. Place the hen on a baking sheet and return it to the oven to finish cooking slowly and to keep it warm.

  7. 7

    Place the casserole onw lo heat and add the pears and wine. Let simmer for a few minutes to tenderize the pears and deglaze.

  8. 8

    Delicately incorporate the creme fraiche. Cut the cold butter into cubes and mix carefully with a wooden spoon, working the butter into the sauce without damaging the pears and the onions.

  9. 9

    Add the Poire William, if desired. Serve the Guinea hen with the sauce.