Wood-Roast Spatchcocked Thai Poussin
- 6 x poussins, spatchcocked
- 12 strong 15cm bamboo skewers (soaked in water). Or 12 x 15cm metal skewers.
- 3 stems lemon grass.
- 6 lime leaves.
- 225g sugar.
- 150ml water.
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped.
- 2 thumbs of ginger, finely chopped.
- 1 tbsp dried shrimp, ground (optional).
- 6 stars of star anise.
- 2 birdseye chillies with seeds left in, finely chopped.
- 4 tbsp of fish sauce (nam pia).
- 1 bunch corriander roughly chopped, including stems.
Trim the top of the lemon grass. Cut each steam on the diagonal into 5 or 6 pieces.
Shred or tear the lime leaves.
Neither the lemon grass nor lime leaves are meant to be eaten, so the pieces should be of size that can be picked out by your guests.
Make a syrup by stirring the sugar and the water in a pan over a gentle heat.
Once the sugar has dissolved, and not before, bring the syrup to the boil and allow to simmer gently for 3 minutes before turning off the heat.
Add all the marinade ingredients, with the exception of the coriander and leave to cool. Once cool add the coriander.
To hold your bird in the spatchcocked shape, feed your soaked bamboo skewers or metal skewers in a criss cross through the birds.
Coat the birds with the cooled marinade. Cover and refrigerate over night or for at least 3 hours.
Give the poussin enough time out of the fridge to lose there chill.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Reserve the excess marinade.
Fire your oven to approximately 300ºC.
Place your poussin on a roasting tray, skin side up.
Pour about a quarter of a pint of water onto the tray and pop them in to the oven keeping them as far away from the flames as possible.
Roast for approximately 15-17 minutes, depending on the size of the birds.
Due to the sticky marinade your birds will start to colour quite quickly, so keep your eye on them and give them a 180 degree turn from time to time for even cooking. They may need to be covered with foil to avoid burning after 5-7 minutes cooking.
Once cooked - a digital temperature probe is a great way of knowing when things are cooked - probe the thigh - 73c your birds are cooked. Discard the foil and pour the excess marinade over.
Cook for a further 3-5 minutes to crisp up and colour the skin of your birds.