"It was 1985 when I first put a baby guinea fowl in clay at Berowra Waters Inn," says Janni Kyritsis. "When I moved to MG Garage in 1997, I revisited the recipe, but used a mature guinea fowl to serve two people. Today, I still use the recipe, but I love chicken when I think of home cooking - it works just as well and it's very special when it comes to the table. You can present it, then carve it up and return it to the table. Enclosing the bird in clay ensures it cooks evenly and remains succulent. Clay has been used for cooking for thousands of years - it's easy to imagine our ancestors coating a bird in mud before throwing it into the coals. The first time I attempted to cook with clay, I used a pheasant with its feathers still on, expecting the feathers to be caught in the wet clay. Some did get stuck in the clay, but the result was a cooked half-plucked bird with clay sticking to the skin. Encasing food has become one of the signatures of my cooking. I use any possible way to make sure the food remains juicy and retains flavour, and I love the theatre of unwrapping the parcels. Salt crust, muslin, caul fat, bone-marrow dumplings, parchment paper, lettuce and vine leaves, pig's trotters and duck's necks - all have played a part. Start this recipe the day before; the flavour of the pancetta marries with the bird overnight and gives a nice rosy colour to the breast (you could also prepare it in the morning for the same evening). Pour a few tablespoons of hot veal glaze over each bird before serving."