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MasterChef Australia

Weds - Fri at 7.30pm TVNZ 1

Ep 60: Massimo's Clay baked Guinea fowl

Clay baked Guinea fowl with culatello and garden salad

Clay baked Guinea fowl with culatello and garden salad  

1 guinea fowl, backbone removed, spatch-cocked
400g pork mince prepared for strolghino
1 clove garlic, chopped
10 juniper berries, lightly crushed
2 slices of culatello
2 sprigs rosemary leaves
1-2 tablespoons cognac
Salt and pepper, to taste

Salt crust
500g cooking salt
3 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
3 tablespoons thyme leaves
1½ cups cold water
500g plain flour, plus extra for rolling

1 baby zucchini, sliced lengthways, lightly salted
Zucchini flowers, petals separated
Lettuce leaves
Chickory leaves
Fennel fronds
Garofono, edible pink flowers
Modena balsamic vinegar 

1 Preheat oven to 220°C fan forced.

2 Lay guinea fowl skin side down and debone chest cavity, leaving leg bones intact. Liberally salt the inside of the guinea fowl and spread with the minced pork, the garlic and juniper. Fold back up into shape.

3 Truss bird around legs and up sides of body and tie where the neck would be. Tie a second piece of twine around the middle of the breast. Cover the bird in the slices of culatello, rosemary leaves and cognac.  Tightly wrap the guinea fowl in parchment paper and fold to keep in place.

4 Roll clay to 1cm thick, place the bird, breast side down in the centre of the clay and wrap ensuring that there are no cracks and parcel is well sealed. Invert and place on a baking paper lined oven tray. Bake for 2 hours and allow to rest before cracking open to serve. If you don’t have access to clay you can use the salt crust method below as an alternative.

5 For the salt crust option, mix salt, herbs and water in a mixer with a paddle beater. Add flour, and mix to a smooth, firm dough. Add a touch more flour if the dough is too wet. Rest in the fridge until needed.

6 On a floured work surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 5mm. Place fowl onto the bench then lay the salt crust over, turn the bird and press the crust together ensuring bird is completely enclosed.

7 Bake for 20 minutes, reduce temperature to 190°C and cook for a further 20 minutes. Rest for 10 minutes before cracking crust.

8 For salad, arrange salad ingredients on a platter and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.