Location: Central Africa, between Cameroon and Gabon
Area: Over 28,000 sq km; 146th largest in the world
Slightly smaller than Maryland
Climate: "Always hot"
Population: Over 685,000; 166th most in the world
Geography: One of the smallest Africa countries; has a mainland portion plus five inhabited islands
Health: Tap water is not potable
Source: CIA Factbook
In my search I kept coming across one recipe that I wanted to try. I tried to avoid it, given the unconventional ingredients, but I couldn't. I was hooked on Guinea Fowl Paella. That's right. Guinea Fowl. A new meat for me! I searched high and low. The international grocery store didn't have it. Neither did Whole Foods. My quest was done before it began.
According to the interwebs, quail is a decent substitute for guinea fowl, so I decided that that was my next best option. I also then decided to make Succotash since there was at least some concensus that it was the national dish. I was wary because Kevin doesn't like lima beans, but I figured I had to do something the right way.
I went to Whole Foods to buy the quail and low and behold...guinea fowl! It wasn't there before! My faith in obscure ingredients restored, I would have skipped home if I didn't have a baby and a full bag of groceries. Plus, now I didn't have to make succotash that wouldn't actually get eaten. Yay!
What is a guinea fowl? According to Wikipedia they resemble partridges, but with featherless heads. Yummy. Here is what one looks like when you buy it from the store.
The rest of the recipe is relatively easy. First you cook the meat, and then the onions and garlic. You also do add the rice to the pan uncooked, as we have seen in some previous posts.
There were a number of spices in the recipe, which got me pretty hopeful. Usually the recipes we've tried from Africa have had a tendency to be bland, so this was a welcome change.
We decided to teach Brendan a little bit about the circle of life while things cooked.
|Dead bird nom nom.|
The hummus was delicious as well. It worked to cool down our mouths after all of the spiciness. Kevin said it tasted like the hummus you get from the store. I agree. I plan on making it again. And again. And probably some more.
It is so nice to have a recipe that wins. If you want to try something new, go find a guinea fowl! The meat seemed a bit tougher than chicken, but really not so different as to make you pause. Baby steps: just what I like.
Next time: Eritrea