Baby chicken marinated in a classic portuguese hot sauce with a fresh rocket and spicy rice
Using a pair of scissors, cut along one side of the backbone of the poussin. repeat the process on the other side, thus removing it altogether. Place the bird, breast side up, on a chopping board. Press firmly, with the palm of your hand to flatten it.
Score the legs and thighs with a couple of deep slashes. This will ensure that they cook at the same time as the breast.
Once prepared, slather the marinade liberally all over. Be sure to reserve some for basting.
Leave for as long as possible, ideally this would be least 4 hours or overnight.
De seed and roughly chop the chillies.
Peel and chop the garlic.
Place these, together with the rest of the ingredients, except the olive oil, in a food processor and blend.
When all is pureed, whilst the blade is still running, add the olive oil slowly, until a thick and rustic sauce is achieved.
To cook the Poussin:
Pre heat the overhead grill to full. Place the poussins on a baking tray, skin side up and cook until starting to colour, before switching the oven setting to Fan Oven 180 degrees. At this point you should use some of the reserves marinade to baste your poussin.
Continue cooking until cooked through and the juices run clear on the inside of the thigh. This will take approximately 20 min.
Peel and finely dice the onion. Wash the rice in several changes of water or until the water runs clear, then strain.
Pick and roughly chop the mint and coriander.
Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until it starts to turn translucent. Add the drained rice and spices and stir well.
Add water (1.5 times the quantity of rice) Bring to a boil, with a lid on. Once boiling turn down to a low simmer. After 10 minutes, turn the heat off and let the rice continue to steam (DO NOT REMOVE THE LID) for a further 10 min. Fluff the rice with a fork, add the chopped herbs and serve immediately.
Arrange a neat pile of the spiced rice on the plate.
Cut the poussin into halves and arrange on top.
Squeeze the lemon into any of the remaining pan juices and marinade in the roasting tray and either spoon over the chicken or into a dipping pot to serve beside.
Pick out any fibrous stalks from the rocket and arrange a small bunch beside the chicken for a fresh contrasting texture.
«Be sure to use fresh (not dried) bay leaves, as they will not blend well.»