IT’S HARD TO FIND CHICKEN IN A SPANISH RESTAURANT, AS RESTAURANTS ARE PLACES WHERE PEOPLE GO TO ESCAPE THE ORDINARINESS OF HOME. THEY WANT A TOUCH OF LUXURY, WITH WAITERS AND DISHWASHERS. CHICKEN IS SO CLOSELY ASSOCIATED WITH HOME, HOME COOKING AND EVEN POVERTY THAT IT DOESN’T OFTEN MAKE IT ONTO THE RESTAURANT MENU: THE SPANISH ARE MORE LIKELY TO EAT QUAIL, PARTRIDGE OR PHEASANT. SPATCHCOCK (POUSSIN) IS JUST A NAME FOR LITTLE CHICKENS, AND THIS IS A QUICK DISH TO DO OVER THE COALS OR A BARBECUE. THEY’RE AVAILABLE FROM GOOD POULTRY SUPPLIERS. YOU CAN ALSO MAKE THIS DISH WITH QUAIL — SIMPLY REDUCE THE COOKING TIME.
Rinse the birds and pat dry with paper towel. Using a pair of kitchen scissors, remove the spine by cutting along both sides of it from the tail to the neck. Discard or keep for stock. Trim away the first two joints of the wings. Spread the legs and remove the thigh bone, then place the spatchcocks on a work surface, skin side up. Press down to flatten.
Combine the remaining ingredients in a shallow tray or container. Add the birds and massage the marinade all over, then lay the birds flat and cover with more marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 2 hours.
Heat your coals to a temperature where you can only hold your hand
Turn the spatchcock again and grill, skin side down, for a final 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and rest in a warm place for 8 minutes before serving.
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