The first time I saw my family place marinated chicken over an open grill with burning coal and firewood with a generous splash of wine, I really thought that this moment captured the essence of what makes a family get-together so successful. A few fresh ingredients approved by tradition cooked on the grill, nothing difficult, nothing complex and nothing I could do but sit back and wait with anticipation as an eagerly awaiting child.
This recipe for me is literally the devils chicken, it’s the process of adding dried chilli and freshly ground herbs infused with olive oil and lemon to cast a spell of overnight magic to some lucky poussins. RESULT, the flavours penetrate into the chicken and release unforgettable flavours and wild-herby aromas while still keeping the chicken moist and tender…I am a huge fan!
If you’ve had a nightmare about roasting chicken before then don’t worry as this is a full proof recipe and will make you feel better. You can still enjoy crispy skin and moist meat where most of it is hands-off, pretty much. The secret: the oven. You can make crispy skin in less than an hour and finish it off on a griddle pan. The crunch is not as extreme as it is when barbecued, but the poussin is still delightfully, deliciously light and with a balance of crispy skin with herby, garlicky, spicy goodness.
Tempted…well you are 7 ingredients away from deliciousness.
2 poussins, washed
2 rosemary sprigs
3 basil sprigs
4 medium garlic cloves
120 ml olive oil
1 teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
1 teaspoon red chilli flakes
1/4 fresh lemon juice
2 padrón chillies
Firstly, roughly tear the rosemary and basil and place into a food processor. Next add in the salt, chilli flakes, lemon juice, garlic cloves and olive oil. Blitz into a fine paste and set aside.
Next, gently wash the poussins and pat dry with kitchen paper. Place the poussins onto a chopping board and make two small incisions across the breast and place into a bowl.
Pour over the herby paste and rub over the poussin, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to marinate overnight.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Remove the poussins and place into a non-stick baking tray, spoon over a little of the extra herby paste and bake in the oven for 60 minutes.
Once nicely roasted, place onto a griddle on a high heat and drizzle with a little olive.
Once hot sear the poussins for 3 minutes on both sides. At the same time place the padrón chillies on the griddle and chargrill.
If you fancy a little bit of heat, enjoy the roasted poussins with the padrón chillies and get tucked in!