PALM OIL STEW WITH GUINEA FOWL, SNAILS & DRIED FISH...
There's something about food cooked the traditional way that makes it taste so much better than the conventional method. Since i learnt how to make stew this way, i can count the number of times i've made regular stew with vegetable oil.
This recipe is pretty straight forward, the only tricky part is the "bleaching" of the palm oil. Just make sure you're in a well ventilated kitchen and you'll be fine.
1 Guinea Fowl (Freshly killed and cleaned up)
250grms Dried Fish
8 Medium Sized Snails
7 Large Tatashe or Red Bell Pepper (de-seeded)
10 - 15 Medium Sized Fresh Tomatoes
2 Cups Palm Oil
1/2 Cup Crayfish
1 Tablespoon Iru/Dawadawa
1 Teaspoon Curry
1 Teaspoon Thyme
1 Cup Tomato Puree
3 Seasoning Cubes
2 Tablespoons Garlic Powder
2 Inch Sized Fresh peeled Ginger
Salt & Pepper
Guinea fowl is a no carb, low fat, high protein and high vitamin bird. It has a characteristic greyish skin and has really good flavour.
Blend some of your tatashe with 1 onion, half of your ginger, 1 teaspoon of garlic and pour over your bird. Season with 1 seasoning cube, salt, pepper, curry and thyme. Mix thoroughly so that the entire bird is covered then set it aside in the fridge.
Break up and wash your dried fish and also set aside.
When you buy snails in the market, more often than not they will take it out of the shell and clean it for you. this is NOT enough. You need to still give it a good was using a lot of salt get get out the slime, rinse and scrub the body again with sliced limes or alum to cut all that slime. Repeat until your snail is literally squeaky clean. Snails that aren't cleaned properly can trigger allergic reactions in certain people, i know cos i'm one of those people.
After cleaning set your snail aside.
Blend your remaining tatashe, tomatoes, onions and ginger together. Add tomato puree and mix properly into the tomatoes. I like to do it this way to save my precious skin during the frying process. Last thing you want to be doing is breaking up tomato puree in a hissing and spitting pot of boiling hot oil!
Add your palm oil into you pot and allow to cook for 5 - 10 minutes on high heat. By this time it will be very smoky and the oil would be taking a yellowish-orange colour. The longer you "bleach" your oil for, the more flavour you get out of it.
Very carefully add your guinea fowl into the oil, stir and stand back. Allow it to cook for about 10 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes. The hot oil will sear the skin this way and during the rest of the stewing process the inside of the bird will get cooked and tender.
Add tomato mix and left over marinate from the fowl and cover the pot. Allow to cook that way for 20 minutes.
Add crayfish and dried fish. Rinse off your iru/dawadawa and add as well. Stir and season as needed.
Cook for another 5 minutes, by this time your stew should be coming together, add the snails and turn down the heat. We do not want the snail to over cook, so this is the last leg of the cooking process. Properly cooked snail should still have a bit of a bite to it and you need to bear in mind that it continues to cook in the heat of the stew until it cools off completely
In another 10 minutes turn the heat off, scoop out excess oil (if any) and serve with white rice or boiled yam.