The sun is beating down relentlessly in the South West of France where we're on holiday, the BBQs are fired up all around - so it is only fitting that I give you one of my all-time favourite "smoky" poultry dishes:
This recipe is from the great Peter Gordon's "Cook at Home" book, and it is UTTERLY divine - and totally easy and fuss-free. It's also completely versatile: you can use quails (as per the original recipe), chicken parts or (my favourite) poussins, and you can cook them on the BBQ or in the oven - the result is always stunning: I've lost count over how many times I've served these as the "star" of one of my Japanese(-style) "banquets" (other recipes to follow another time)...
2 poussins (ca 450/500g each)* or: 4 chicken breast parts (bone-in, skin on), 4 thighs, 8-12 wings or 8 quails
1 small handful of basil, torn finely
1 small thumb of ginger, peeled and chopped very finely
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
20 ml Thai fish sauce
20 ml rice wine vinegar
20 ml mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine)
1 tbsp brown sugar
50 ml sesame oil
2 tsp of sesame seeds
Whisk together all the marinade ingredients. Put the poultry pieces into a large-enough container/ziplock bag and add the marinade. Combine well so all the meat is coated. Leave to marinade (ideally overnight). When ready to cook, remove from the marinade and roast in the oven at 200 degrees for ca 30 mins.
* If using poussins, cut out the back bone with kitchen scissors, then cut in half.