Brazilian piri piri spatchcocked poussins

  • serves 4
  • A little effort

Piri piri makes the best marinade for grilled chicken or poussins and it's quick and easy to make your own, and we think it tastes so much better. This simple recipe makes a great barbecue.



  • garlic 2 cloves
  • lemons 2, zested and juiced
  • Worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp
  • olive oil
  • poussins 3

piri piri sauce

  • red chillies 5
  • garlic 8 whole cloves
  • golden caster sugar 1 tbsp
  • red wine vinegar 3 tbsp
  • lemons 2, juiced
  • smoked paprika 1 tsp
  • olive oil
  • lemons 1, to serve


  • Step 1

    Make a marinade with the garlic, lemon, Worcestershire sauce and 3 tbsp olive oil and put in a shallow glass or enamel baking dish. Using poultry scissors or very sharp scissors, cut down the sides of the backbones of the poussins. Remove the spines and discard. Use the scissors to cut away the rib bones as well. Turn all three birds over. Season well with salt and pepper. Rub the lemon and garlic marinade all over them and chill overnight or for at least a couple of hours.

  • Step 2

    Sear the chillies and garlic until blackened in a small, dry frying pan for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Remove and seed the chillies and take off any loose skin. Peel the garlic as well. Put the chillies and garlic into a blender with the sugar, vinegar, lemon juice, paprika and 2 tbsp oil. Add 3 tbsp water and some salt. Blend until fine.

  • Step 3

    Heat the barbecue or grill and set up so you cook on indirect heat. That means turning off the middle gas burner or, when the charcoal is ready, pushing the coals to the side and putting a drip pan under the cooking area. This will allow the meat to barbecue without burning. Or heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Cook, covered, for about 12 minutes on each side, or for 40 minutes skin-side-up in the oven. When the poussins are close to finishing, start brushing with some of the sauce on both sides.

  • Step 4

    Use a pair of scissors to cut the birds into smaller pieces. Serve with a bowl of the sauce and lemon quarters to squeeze over.

Nutritional Information

  • Kcals 549
  • Fat 41.1g
  • Carbs 6.6g
  • Fibre 0.1g
  • Protein 38g
  • Salt 0.5g