- Kosher salt
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 8 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves
- 2 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
- 2 bay leaves, crushed
- 8 guinea hen legs (see Note)
- 1 cup pitted prunes
- Boiling water
- 1 cup honey
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 quart vegetable oil
- 1 cup rendered duck fat (see Note)
- In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup of salt with the brown sugar, garlic, rosemary, peppercorns and bay leaves. Put the hen legs in a large, shallow dish and rub all over with the salt mixture. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours.
- In a heatproof bowl, cover the prunes with boiling water and let stand until softened, 10 minutes; drain and transfer to a saucepan. Add the honey and vinegar and simmer over low heat for 30 minutes. Stir in the ginger and red pepper; remove from the heat. Season with salt and let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Rinse the legs and pat dry with paper towels. Set the legs in a small flameproof roasting pan, skin side up. Pour in the oil, add the duck fat and bring to a simmer over moderate heat to melt the duck fat. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the legs for 1 hour, until just cooked, turning them halfway through.
- Transfer the legs to a platter. Heat a nonstick skillet over moderate heat. Add half of the legs, skin side down, and cook until browned, 5 minutes. Turn the legs and cook until browned on the other side, 3 minutes. Repeat with the remaining legs. Serve with the prunes and sauce.
The recipe can be prepared through Step 3 and refrigerated for 3 days. Bring to room temperature before proceeding.
Guinea hen legs and rendered duck fat can be ordered from dartagnan.com.
Pouilly-Fuissé from Burgundy's Mâconnais region is often full-bodied but has great, tangy vibrancy, nice with the heavy flavors here. Try the 2008 Dominique Cornin Pouilly-Fuissé Les Chevrières or the 2009 Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuissé.