Preserved Lemon and Yogurt-Marinated Poussins

lemon chicken

This is a barbecue recipe through and through: gorgeously flavorful, overnight-marinated chicken. I like the smaller chickens for this recipe, as they take on the chili and barbecue well. Also, they cook much faster. Preserved lemons are used a lot in Moroccan food – they are good blitzed with some honey and chili as I’ve done in this marinade, giving a lot of flavor for not much effort. They can be found in many supermarkets too.

Serves 4

4 poussins, spatchcocked

For the marinade

3 preserved lemons, drained

2 garlic cloves

2 shallots

3 tablespoons runny honey

1 teaspoon dried chili flakes

small handful of fresh thyme

3.5oz Classic Greek yogurt

salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

1 red onion

1 cup cherry tomatoes

2 baby cucumbers

3oz extra-virgin olive oil

½ cup green cracked olives

1 lemon, cut into wedges

6oz Classic Greek yogurt

1 tablespoon za’atar

flatbreads, to serve (optional)

Mix all the marinade ingredients together, then blitz in a blender. Place the poussins in a large airtight container, rub the marinade all over, seal with the lid and chill overnight in the fridge.

To cook on the barbecue, heat your barbecue to white coal stage. Cook the chicken for about 10–15 minutes on each side.

If cooking in the kitchen, preheat the oven to 425˚F/gas mark 7. Heat a griddle pan over a medium heat. Generously season the poussins and brown on the griddle, in batches if necessary, for about 5 minutes each side. Transfer the poussins to a roasting tin and roast in the oven for 15 minutes.

While the poussins are roasting, chop the onion, tomatoes and cucumbers into cubes and mix with the olive oil, olives and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Place each poussin on a serving plate with a pile of salad, a dollop of the yogurt and a sprinkling of za’atar, and serve with warm flatbreads.