A French favourite, the poussin, is known here as a spring chicken. It’s much better for barbecuing than its big brother. Our poussin is going to be dry-marinaded in Indian-style spices , so it is hot and very spicy.
Serves 4
■ 4 poussins, about 450g (1lb) each
■ 2 tbsp paprika
■ 1 tsp hot chilli powder
■ 1 tsp cumin
■ Black pepper
■ Sea salt
■ 2 tbsp vegetable oil
■ 2 cloves garlic
■ Large chunk stem ginger
■ Juice of 2 limes
Start by spatchcocking the poussins. Lay the birds on their fronts and, using heavy scissors, cut out their backbones. Lay them flat on a board, and squash down with the heel of your hand to flatten.
Mix the paprika, chilli, cumin, lots of black pepper and salt in a bowl, and add the oil. Mix well. Grate the garlic and ginger on to a square of muslin and press the juice out into another bowl. Squeeze the lime juice into the garlic and ginger and mix well.
Marinade the birds in the lime mix for half an hour, then pat them dry and rub with the spicy oil (use gloves).
Leave to rest for half an hour, then skewer each bird with two skewers at 45 degrees to each other. This will hold them flat. Barbecue over a medium heat for 10 minutes on each side, then check that the thighs are cooked. If not, cook them for a further five minutes on each side.
Serve with mango chutney and a coriander and raw onion salad.