Poussin, or baby chicken, is a great alternative if you don’t want to cook a whole chicken. Most butchers have it these days (and can spatchcock it for you), although chicken drumsticks and thighs would be an alternative. We marinate the poussin with sumac and olive oil and then drizzle a bit of pomegranate molasses over the bird once it’s cooked. This adds a wonderful sharpness to the smoky grilled meat.
- Place the poussin in a large shallow bowl, add the remaining ingredients, except the salt, and turn the poussin until it is coated in the marinade.
- Cover with clingfilm and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2–6 hours.
- Meanwhile, in another large bowl, mix the chickpeas, spring onions, pomegranate seeds and olive oil together. Set aside.
- Take the poussins out the fridge 30 minutes before cooking.
- Preheat a chargrill pan, griddle pan or barbecue.
- Once the poussins have come up to room temperature, place them skin-side down on the hot chargrill or barbecue.
- After a few minutes, gently begin to lift one of them from the surface: if it moves easily then shift them a little on the grill to brown more of the skin.
- When the poussins are well browned on the skin-side, flip them over and either move them to a slightly cooler part of the grill or barbecue and cover with a large lid or put them in an ovenproof pan or dish and place in a hot oven, skin-side up.
- Cook for a further 8–10 minutes, or until the poussins are cooked through and the juices run clear when a skewer is inserted into the thickest part of the meat.
- Remove the poussins from the heat, cover loosely with foil and leave them to rest for 5 minutes.
- Add the rocket leaves to the rest of the salad ingredients, squeeze the lemon juice over and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper and arrange the salad on serving plates.
- Cut each bird into 4 pieces, first removing the legs then halving each of the remaining pieces through the centre of the breast.
- Place the pieces on top of the salad and drizzle some extra pomegranate molasses over the whole dish, then serve.
For the pomegranate dressing:
The sweet tang of pomegranate vinaigrette is an interesting accompaniment to both meat and fish.
- Whisk the olive oil and pomegranate molasses together in a bowl, then add the vinegar and whisk again.
- Add salt to taste.
Extract from Savage Salads: Fierce Flavours, Filling Power-Ups by Davide Del Gatto and Kristina Gustafsson (Frances Lincoln, £16.99).
Main image by Kim Lightbody.