Blackened spatchcock chicken with spiced couscous, lemon and coriander, by James Holah

23 March 2012
Blackened spatchcock chicken with spiced couscous, lemon and coriander, by James Holah

Devised by James Holah for the Ebury, London

Ingredients (Serves one)

For the spice water 400ml water
15g salt
4g turmeric
2g ground cinnamon
1g cumin
1g cardamom

For the couscous 60g couscous
100ml spice water
1 pomegranate
Golden raisins
Hot smoked paprika
Olive oil

Chicken marinade 60g preserved lemons
9g garlic
1.5g thyme
37g honey
20g olive oil
16g green chillies


For the chicken Ask your butcher for a large poussin - he should be able to spatchcock it for you. If not, all you need to do is bone the bird out from its underside. Put the bird on your chopping board, breasts down, and using a sharp knife make an incision all the way along the underside of the bird from the parson's nose to the neck.

Gently slice away, first left, then right following the carcass closely and removing the carcass from the meat. Once the carcass is free from the meat carefully cut away from the breasts and discard. Clean up the poussin and you are ready to go.

Blitz all the ingredients together with a hand blender and smear over the skin side of the chicken. Leave to marinate for 3 hours.

For the couscous

Bring the spice water to the boil, place a lid over the top and leave to cool and infuse, then sieve.
Measure the couscous, then put it into a high-sided tray and drizzle over a generous amount of olive oil. Work the oil through the couscous, to ensure it doesn't stick together.

Put the pomegranate seeds in with the couscous.

Place a handful of golden raisins in the measured amount of spice water and bring to the boil. Pour over the couscous and fluff it with a fork. Cover with clingfilm and leave in a warm place to steam and puff up.

Season with hot smoked paprika and lemon juice to taste.

To finish Remove the marinade from the chicken and place skin side down into a hot frying pan and allow to colour until it starts to blacken slightly.

Run through the oven still skin side down at 170°C for approximately 8 minutes.

Remove from the oven, turn over and allow to rest.

Squeeze a lemon over the chicken.

Spoon the couscous onto a plate, place the chicken on top and garnish with coriander.

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