The French Nov-Dec 2019 Saveurs magazine includes several recipes inspired by Mahgrebian tajines. The one prepared with guinea fowl, eggplant, figs and Moroccan spices inspired me!
My usual source in the market that specializes in poultry products, unusually, didn’t have any guinea fowl and suggested I return on Friday. Not wanting to wait, I visited the butcher Trotoux that is located a block from the market. He always has quality meats and poultry, including Brest chicken.
I chose one of the whole guinea fowls and he cut off the head and feet, burning off any stray feathers, yet insisting that I take the carcass, which he wrapped in a separate package, along with the liver, heart and gizzard. Whatever, I made a stock from these to use as the liquid in the recipe instead of water. Boil and simmer for 1 hour with celery, carrot, onion, bay leaves, salt and pepper.
The recipe called for 2 doses of saffron which comes in these cute little caplets that I love 🙂 It also called for powdered “piment doux.” In African French piment doux means fresh bell pepper or poivron in France French. I didn’t know you could buy this powdered but I was impressed and am taking a bag or two back to the States to include in future recipes.
The pintade pieces are first seasoned with salt and pepper, then rubbed with a mixture of saffron, ginger, piment doux, paprika and olive oil and browned.
I liked the idea of lots of onions and dried figs as the base for the sauce and congratulated myself for making a stock 🙂
The aubergine are salted drained and dried, then browned in olive oil and set aside to be added to the tajine for the last 30 minutes of cooking. I’m reducing the total cooking time to 1 hr 30 minutes instead of 2 hrs. The tajine was very good with a nice thick sauce but I thought perhaps a little overcooked.
Also, use the larger measures of spices if you like a more authentic mahgrebian taste.
Pintade Tajine with Aubergines and Figs
1 Pintade (guinea fowl), cut into pieces
Salt and pepper
4 tbsp olive oil
2 doses of saffron
1-2 tsps paprika
1-2 tsps ginger
1/2-1 tsp piment doux (powdered bell pepper)
2 tbsp olive oil
4 onions, chopped
8-10 dried figs, halved
1 1/2 cup poultry stock
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Season the guinea fowl with salt and pepper. Mix the 4 tbsps of olive oil with the saffron, paprika, ginger and the piment doux. Rub this mixture into the guinea fowl pieces and set aside.
Heat 2 tbsps olive oil in a stove top to oven tajine. Add the guinea fowl pieces, brown then remove from the tajine and set aside.
Add the chopped onions, lower the flame and sweat until the onion is translucent. Return the fowl to the tajine, along with the figs and poultry stock. Cover and place in a preheated oven at 350 F for 1 hour.
While the tajine is cooking, slice the aubergines, salt and allow to drain for about 15 minutes. Pat dry with a paper towel. Half the slices, lightly brown in some olive oil, then move to paper towels on a plate and set aside. After the tajine has cooked for 1 hour, gently stir in the aubergine, cover and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, sprinkle with cilantro and serve with rice.