Georgian Chicken

Diana Henry cooks a spatchcocked speciality with her own sweet-sour blackberry sauce
By Diana Henry
Georgian Chicken
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 1-2
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus 2 hrs marinating time
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 1x500g spatchcock poussins
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • yogurt, to serve

For the sauce

  • 225 g blackberries
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pinches flakes sea salt
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 small bunches fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses, (optional)
  • 1 1/2 tsp clear honey, or to taste (optional)

Method

1. Make small slits all over the poussin with a sharp knife. Mix the cayenne, oil and garlic together with a little salt and pepper. Rub it all over the chicken and push the bits of garlic down into the slits if you can. Leave, loosely covered, in the fridge for a couple of hours.

2. For the sauce: put the blackberries in a small saucepan with 1 tablespoon of water. Heat gently, mashing the berries and allowing their juices to flow. Push through a sieve into a bowl.

3. Crush the garlic and the sea salt in a mortar and pestle. Add the cayenne and half the coriander, grinding everything to a paste. Add this to the blackberry purée. Stir in the pomegranate molasses and honey if using - they provide a sour-sweet touch and are essential if the blackberries don't have the requisite sweetness. Leave this aside until you want to use it.

4. Heat a griddle pan until very hot then add the chicken, skin side down. Turn the heat down to medium-low and weigh the bird down with something - tins, a heavy frying pan or casserole, whatever you have. Cook for 5 minutes.

5. Remove the weights and turn the poussin over then replace whatever you are using to weigh the chicken down. Cook for 5 minutes on that side. Remove the weights again and check to see how the chicken is cooking by piercing the flesh. The juices should be clear, without any trace of blood.

6. Put the chicken, skin side up, on a heated platter and spoon over the cooking juices. Drizzle on some blackberry sauce (or serve all of it on the side if you prefer) and scatter with the rest of the chopped coriander and a spoonful of yogurt.

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