I love poussins, roasted, curried, casseroled and now, on a BBQ. I am always a bit wary about any type of chicken on a BBQ but, as long as it is well done, there is no problem. The beauty of these little birds is that they cook evenly as there is no thick mass of meat to cook through, and, as they are marinated before hand, they cook even quicker without burning on the outside. My husband Terry does all our barbecuing and he has it down to a fine art. All I do is prepare the food and sit back with a glass of wine to watch him go to work. Perfect!
I remember a couple of years ago, Jamie Oliver once gave a tip on barbecuing chicken, that he had picked up in the West Indies, I think. There they pare down the meat of the chicken to the bone, eg on a drumstick, flatten the meat back and then use the bone as the heat conductor so that it cooks in the middle at the same time as the outside. I have used this principle when barbecuing these poussins, cutting through the back bone to butterfly the bird. The carcass can then be used to conduct the heat. It is also worth highering the grid for the first 15 minutes on each side then lowering it to finish off and brown.
Here is the recipe.
BBQ poussins in a herb marinade Serves 2
- 1 tbsp chopped rosemary
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 poussins
- Cut the poussins straight down the backbone and flatten out. Place in a shallow dish, breast side up. In a bowl mix together the lemon juice, rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic and a few good glugs of olive oil. Mix together well. Pour over the poussins then season with a little salt and black pepper. Cover the dish with clingfilm then refrigerate for up to 12 hours but a minimum of 1 hour.
- Heat the barbecue. When it is ready put the poussins either directly on the grill or in a metal BBQ basket. The latter is perfect as it allows easy turning of the meat and a quick removal should it flare up. Cook skin side down for 15 minutes, turn and cook bone side down for 15 minutes. Keep turning for 5 minutes at a time until the skin is brown and crispy and the meat is cooked through.