Mesquite smoked poussin
Recently we treated ourselves to a Cobb oven. The idea is to take it to festivals with the promise of hot bacon sandwiches on cold, damp mornings. A slew of barbeque recipes popping up in the papers meant I couldn't resist also buying the Cobb’s hot smoking accessory - basically a round cast iron box you put wood chips into. Placed over the hot coals the chips heat up and smoulder, producing plumes of flavourful smoke. Testing it out on a poussin produced fantastic results.
Serves two with a salad or other accompaniment
1 dried chipotle pepper
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
½ tin tomatoes, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
2 tsp honey
1 pinch thyme leaves, minced
What to do
Soften the chipotle pepper in a little hot water for half an hour, then combine it with the shallot, cider vinegar and tomatoes in a small saucepan and gently simmer for half an hour until the pepper is soft and the tomatoes have melted into a thick paste. Mash everything together with a fork and stir in the garlic, honey, thyme, salt and pepper. Taste the mixture – it should be smoky, sweet and spicy. Allow the marinade to cool.
Put the poussin into a zip lock bag, add the marinade and close the bag, keeping out as much air as possible. Squeeze and squelch the bird so it’s covered in smoky sauce, then leave in the fridge overnight, turning the bag over once or twice if you remember.
The next day set up a hot smoker or barbeque with wood chips of your choice. We chose mesquite. Take the poussin out of the zip lock and smoke for 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the heat of your smoker. Check if it is done by sticking a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh to see if the juices run clear, or checking the internal temperature registers 65°C/150°F.
Rest for 10 minutes, then split the bird in two from breastbone to back and serve with barbeque sauce and crisp iceberg lettuce with blue cheese dressing.