Sunday, April 28, 2013

Guinea Gumbo

Guinea Gumbo

This was a standard where I grew up in Southwest Louisiana in a place called Le Blue Settlement. We raised guinea hens along side chickens just like everyone did in that place and time. I haven't had  guinea since those days back on the farm.
 It was a treat to find some local hens at the Urban Harvest farmers market last Saturday. 

Gumbo!Gumbo! Gumbo! 

That's all I could think about so, I made it happen! 

 The Guinea has a smaller body mass but a more intense flavor profile than a chicken. Almost like a wild chicken flavor. Which essentially that what a guinea is, a wild chicken.  Basically the white meat tastes like dark meat! It makes an amazing full flavored gumbo that you cant  seem to get from a store bought  chicken. 
I have a few new tricks that I've incorporated into my gumbo preparations and they have proved true in this dish! Enjoy,

1 medium white onion 
1 pobaono pepper
2 stalks celery 
4 garlic cloves
Equal parts flour and oil
salt, pepper and hot sauce to taste
1 Guinea Hen

Spice Rub: 
2 parts sea salt 
2 parts fresh cracked black pepper
2 parts ground jalapeno powder (recipe to follow)
1 part ground cumin 
1 part smoked paprika 

Wash and clean the hen.

 Pre-heat the oven to 400. Rub the hen generously with the spice rub inside and out. Place it in an oven proof pan. 

Place in the oven until golden brown and crispy. About 30 min.  Remove from the oven. Set aside and let cool.

The traditional vegetable mix, also called the holy trinity in Louisiana cooking, contains onion  celery and bell pepper. I like to use pablano peppers. They have a deeper more earthier taste. I think it adds another level of flavor to the over all taste. Dice up the veggies. 

Saute until the trinity is soft. Add beer or wine to keep the the moisture consistent. 

Now for the hard part, making the roux. If you have it, use a cast iron skillet or some form of heavy skillet. Heat the oil over medium heat  Once the oil is hot add the flour. Stir constantly until it turns your desired color. This could take a while. This took about 20 minutes. Once you have got the desired color remove from and let cool. You can do this ahead of time and place in the fridge for quite some time. I usually make a two cup batch and use it over a month long period. 

Quarter the Hen.

Boil 6 liters of water. Once you have a boil add the veggies and the hen. Bring back to a boil and add one cup of roux. Bring back to a boil and stir until the roux is well incorporated. Lower the heat to low and simmer for an hour. Remove the hen pieces and set aside to cool. Once cool pick the meat from the bones and add back to the pot. Salt and pepper to taste. I also like to add some Crystal hot sauce at this point. Simmer for another fifteen minutes and your ready to serve!

This is what you end up with!!

Serve over some fluffy, salty, buttery rice and top with some green onions!

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