Roasted Guinea Hen Mediterranean Style
- SERVINGS: 4
Guinea hens are like deeply flavored chickens. (You can substitute chicken.) You will need a roasting pan large enough to hold the guinea hen and vegetables without crowding. Lydie Marshall uses an oven broiling pan. The black pan helps the hen and vegetables brown, but the pan can burn easily, so baste often.
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- 2 small zucchini (6 ounces each), cut into 1/4-inch dice
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
- 1 tablespoon minced mixed tarragon, chives and thyme
- 3 medium tomatoes, cored and coarsely chopped
- 1 small Asian eggplant (6 ounces), cut into 1/4-inch dice
- One 3-pound guinea hen
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1 mint sprig
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, coarsely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup Enriched Chicken Stock
- Preheat the oven to 425°. In a bowl, toss the zucchini with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the minced herbs; season with salt. In another bowl, toss the tomatoes and eggplant with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of the minced herbs. Season the tomato mixture with salt.
- Cut off the first 2 wing joints from the guinea hen and reserve. Season the hen inside with salt and pepper. Put the mint sprig in the cavity and tie the legs together. Rub the hen all over with olive oil and tuck 1 rosemary sprig under each thigh. Set the hen in a large roasting pan and scatter the wings, onions, red bell pepper and garlic around it. Drizzle the vegetables with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and pour the water into the pan.
- Roast the hen for 20 minutes. Add the zucchini to the pan and roast for 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and eggplant along with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt; stir to mix. Add the Enriched Chicken Stock and baste the hen. Return the hen to the oven and roast for 20 minutes longer, or until the vegetables are tender and the hen juices run clear when a thigh is pierced. Transfer the hen to a carving board and cover loosely with foil.
- Set a coarse sieve over a small sauce-pan and carefully pour in the roasting pan juices, keeping the vegetables in the pan. Eat the wing pieces or discard. Stir the remaining 1 teaspoon of minced herbs into the vegetables. Cover with foil and keep warm. Skim the fat from the pan juices. Boil the pan juices over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Carve the hen and serve with the vegetables. Pass the pan juices at the table.
A soft, round red from the southern Rhône will work with the gamey flavor of the guinea hen.