Piri-piri poussin

Jason Athertons home-cooked, spicy Portuguese-style chicken is better than takeaway any day
By Jason Atherton
Piri-piri poussin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus at least 1 hr marinating
  • Effort: easy


For the poussins

  • 200 g softened butter, or 200ml sunflower oil
  • 2 lemons, or limes, juice only
  • 3 hot chillies, very finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh or dried parsley, or oregano
  • 4 spatchcocked poussins
  • 4 wedges limes, to serve

For the coleslaw

  • 2 carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • ¼ white cabbage
  • ¼ red cabbage
  • ½ bulb fennel
  • 4 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 tsp chilli sauce
  • 1 splashes white wine vinegar


1. For the poussins: put the butter (or oil), lemon juice, chilli, garlic, coriander, cinnamon, ginger and parsley (or oregano) in a large nonreactive bowl. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and stir until well combined.

2. Add the poussins, rub the marinade all over them, both inside and out, and leave to marinate for at least 1 hour, or overnight in the fridge, if possible.

3. For the coleslaw: grate all the vegetables into a large bowl.

4. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, chilli sauce, vinegar, and a pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Pour over the grated vegetables and toss until well coated.

5. Lift the poussins from the marinade and cook them on a preheated grill, turning and basting them with the remaining marinade, making sure the marinade is completely cooked after the last basting. Depending on their size, the poussins should take about 15 minutes to cook.

6. Serve the poussins with the coleslaw and a lime wedge on the side.

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