Piri Piri Poussin. Say it. Fabulous, isn’t it? Also delicious, and one of my favourite things to make. I’ve pimped this traditional dish with my favourite n’duja sausage in place of chilli and it works a treat. Bling bling.
There’s no great secret to great meat on the barbecue or roasted in the oven. On a basic level, all you need is a proper marinade and to marinade it for long enough.
Vinegar works wonders with meat, and is terrific when balanced with sugars – whether molasses, sugar or honey. Piri Piri is a terrific vinegar and chilli based marinade with some herbs, often oregano, from Portugal originally, but most often now associated with South Africa.
I’ve pimped my piri piri with some N’duja, that wonderful Calabrian spreadable sausage which I love, well you must be bored of it now. I have been writing about it for years. Did you miss my n’duja pig? (no?!).
Anyway, this is a great dish. Piri piri poussin, spatchcocked to increase surface area, all chilli and vinegar and herbs normally, becomes spicy sausage and vinegar and herbs with tomato for sweetness and balance.
It may seem weird to spread sausage on a poussin but it is thin like a pesto and spreads perfectly adding a rich spiced umami layer to the poussin, which with enough marinading perforates and tenderises the flesh. The poussin is especially perfect for it, packed with flavour, quick to cook and a perfect portion for one. It’s also super delicious.
If you have some marinade leftover, heat it and serve it on the side like a chutney and dip the chicken in it. I would even suggest making a bit extra to do this.
Recipe: Pimp My Piri Piri Poussin
2 x poussin, spatchcocked
90g n’duja sausage
1 good tomato, peeled deseeded & diced
1 tbsp fresh chopped oregano leaves + some for serving
2 tbsp good red wine vinegar
Peel the tomatoes by carving a cross in the base through the skin and submerging in boiling water for 15 – 30 seconds, until the skin starts to peel away. Remove the seeds and chop into fine dice.
Sauté over a low – medium heat for about 10 minutes until the tomato softens. Add the n’duja and stir until dissolved through. Add the vinegar and oregano.
Allow to cool and spread over the skin of the poussins. Massage into the skin and leave to marinade in the fridge for 2 – 4 hours or overnight if you have time.
Preheat your oven to 200 deg C.
Roast the poussins for 35 – 40 minutes checking on them and basting them halfway though. The sausage can get a bit crispy but basting prevents this.
Serve with some fresh oregano sprinkled on top, and enjoy, they’re delicious!