Yesterday I realised that I had young, tender vine leaves in my back garden. I could make dolmades. Or maybe try wrapping something else in a vine leaf? Thus began the path to today's roast, Guineafowl stuffed with thyme and wrapped in vine leaves -- or as Damian would have it, Thymey-Viney Guineafowl. Carnivory under the cut.
First wait for your thyme bush to come into flower. You'll need a lot of thyme.
Then obtain a smallish bird from your butcher. Mine said he had a quail, but it turned out to be a guineafowl. Undaunted, I bought it (and invited damiancugley to dinner to help dispose of the excess meat).
Cut enough thyme to fill the bird and enough vine leaves to wrap it. Blanche both to dispose of bugs and pests. Season and butter the bird, stuff with the thyme, wrap in vine leaves and then tightly in foil.
Blast it on high heat for fifteen minutes then drop it down to cool until it is done. Remove foil and vine leaves from the breast and set it back in the oven to brown (but keep the underside well wrapped). When it is brown, take it from the oven and wrap the foil over it again and let it sit for a while.
Serve with suitable accompaniments (we had chilli kale, honey-glazed carrots and onions and roast potatoes).
The meat was soft, fragrant and meltingly tender, while the vine leaves tasted almost bacony. I wonder what else I can wrap in vine leaves? Fish, maybe? Paneer? Oooh the possibilities.