Prosciutto Wrapped Guinea Hen

Samantha Tancredi

Chef Colin Bedford of The Fearrington House Restaurant in North Carolina has recently finalized his spring menu, which offers bright, colorful dishes that consist of the season’s freshest ingredients. One such item on Bedford’s menu is this classic, yet innovative Prosciutto Wrapped Guinea Hen.

The idyllic and stunningly beautiful setting that surrounds The Fearrington House Restaurant is comparable to an oasis. In perfect harmony with this gorgeous garden property, executive chef Colin Bedford creates exquisite seasonal menus that please the palate and excite the eye.

“One of my favorite practices as a chef is taking a classic dish and deconstructing it. The guinea hen dish was inspired by one of my favorite dishes, Coq au vin. This is a feel-good, classic dish. I enjoy the challenge of taking a well-known dish and adding a new age twist to it while keeping the integrity of the original.

I compare cooking in the kitchen to a wheel. Just like there are already standard dishes and techniques in cooking, just like a wheel is already round, but that doesn’t mean we can’t improve, think outside the box and try to make the wheel spin a little faster and better.”

Prosciutto Wrapped Guinea Hen

4 guinea hen breast & tenders
12 slices prosciutto
500g confit (duck or guinea hen)
500g water
40g salt
Meat glue (in powdered sugar shaker)
Wrap the confit meat into 1/2″ cylinder by laying cling film on the table and wrapping plastic around the confit and tying the ends.
Dissolve the salt in the water and then brine breasts (butterflied) and tenders in chicken brine for 1 hour.
Lay down 2 slices of prosciutto, sprinkle meat glue over them then lay out brest and sprinkle meat glue over breast.
Cut confit the length of the breast and put in the middle of the breast.
Lay tenderloin over confit and wrap breast around confit as it is completely covered in chicken.
Wrap prosciutto around the outside of the breast.
Cook at 62ºC for 1 hour.

Red Wine & Thyme Sauce

1000g Newskies bacon diced
2 onions sliced
150ml red wine
4q vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1 bunch thyme
2tbsp brown sugar
2tbsp Pedro Jimenez vinegar
1% of weight Kuzu starch
1tbsp browning solution
Render the bacon down in a saucepan on medium heat.
Caramelize onions in bacon fat.
Deglaze pan with red wine.
Reduce by half.
Add vegetable stock, bay leaf, and thyme, then reduce by half.
Strain and adjust seasoning with brown sugar, Pedro and salt.
Weigh sauce.
Take 1% of weight in kuzu starch and make a slurry.
Bring sauce to a boil and stir in slurry to achieve proper consistency.
Add browning solution, strain, and cool.

Confit Cipollini Onions

20 cipollini onions
250ml extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs thyme
Peel cipollini onions and place in vacuum bag.
Add remaining ingredients and vacuum seal.
Place in an 85ºC circulator until cooked for about 1 hour.

Smoked Onion Purée

2 onions
400g whole butter
500ml half and half
Julienne the onions and add to a large stainless steel pot with the butter already melted.
Cover with a cartouche and aluminum foil.
Cook over very low heat (place metal pizza pan over heat) for about 3 hours stirring every 15 minutes.
Strain the onions and let cool overnight. Smoke the onions for 1 hour.
Add to large stainless steel pot with half and half and heat onion throughout.
Strain the onions.
Immediately purée the onions with butter – no liquid needed.
Season to taste.
Pass through chinois, cool, and properly store and label.

Slow Cooked King Oyster Mushrooms

8 king oyster mushrooms
250g extra virgin olive oil
1tsp salt
2 sprigs thyme
Trim the bottoms of the king oyster mushrooms.
Put in medium vacuum bag with remaining ingredients.
Vacuum seal and then add to 85ºC circulator for 45 minutes.
Cool, cut in half, and score.

Dried Kale Powder

150g black kale
Power blanch the kale after removing the stems.
Dry overnight in a dehydrator.
Blend into a powder.

Bacon Powder

150g bacon slab
Remove the bacon block from the freezer and microplane.
Dry overnight in a dehydrator until crispy.



Have everything at service temperature and then place a ring cutter in the middle of the plate and fill with shredded and well-seasoned savoy cabbage. Cut the hen and place three on the cabbage shingled and the other two pieces at the top and bottom. Position the mushrooms and cipollini on the plate. Fill in some of the negative space with smoked onion purée and honey mustard. Sprinkle the kale and bacon powder on the plate and onion purée and then sauce with hot sauce.