Guinea Fowl and Jollof Rice

Photo by Tom McCorkle

Serves 6 to 8

    For the guinea fowl:
  • 2 (1-pound) guinea fowls (or 1 whole chicken)
  • Salt to taste
  • 6 tablespoons harissa
  • 1 large red onion thinly sliced
  • ½ cup sorghum syrup
  • ½ cup blackstrap molasses
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • Skillet seasonal vegetables (recipe follows)
  • For the jollof rice:
  • 5 medium Roma tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion roughly chopped
  • 2½ cups tomato juice
  • 3 teaspoons berbere spice blend*
  • 2 cups rice
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • *A traditional Ethopian seasoning, berbere is a blend of chiles, garlic, ginger, and warm spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
  1. Marinate the guinea fowl: Split fowls in half. Pat dry and salt all over. (If using chicken, cut into eight pieces.) In a food processor, combine harissa, onion, sorghum, molasses, and olive oil and blend into a loose paste. Rub over fowl, then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or overnight.
  2. When fowl is nearly done marinating, begin the jollof rice: In a food processor, blend tomatoes and red pepper until combined, 30 to 45 seconds. Set aside.
  3. In a medium pot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Once the oil is hot, add onions and sauté just until they turn golden brown. Measure ¼ cup of the blended tomato mixture and set aside, then add the remainder to the onions. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly so the mixture doesn’t burn.
  4. Reduce heat to medium, then add tomato juice and berbere spice. Boil for about 10 minutes. Add rice and mix well. (At this point, you may need to add scant ½ cup water so the rice has enough moisture.) Add bay leaves, cover the pot, and cook on medium-low heat for 15 to 30 minutes.
  5. While the jollof rice cooks, grill the fowl: Preheat grill or build coals to medium-high heat. Grill guinea fowl until cooked through, 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Finish the jollof rice: When the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, add remaining ¼ cup tomato mixture, cover, and let cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, for about 10 minutes. To finish, uncover pot, stir rice, and season with salt to taste. Remove bay leaves.
  7. Plate the jollof rice with grilled guinea fowl and skillet seasonal vegetables.


Skillet Seasonal Vegetables

Makes about 2 cups 

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • ½ zucchini, sliced into half-moons
  • ½ squash, sliced into half-moons
  • ½ shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
  • 1 small handful kale
  • 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons white wine
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a medium skillet, heat olive oil until it begins to lightly smoke, about 3 minutes. Add zucchini, squash, shallot, red pepper, and kale and stir to coat with oil. Add garlic and stir to incorporate. Deglaze pan with white wine and season with salt and pepper to taste. 

  • Recipe by David Thomas of Ida B's Table in Baltimore, Maryland

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