About this recipe:Spatchcocking is a method for opening small game or poultry birds out flat, so that they cook quickly and evenly and stay beautifully succulent. This can be made on a grill or a barbecue.
4 small poussins, about 400g (14oz) each
1 clove garlic, crushed
Finely grated zest and juice of
1 unwaxed lemon
125ml (4fl oz) dry white wine
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped chives
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons chopped mint
Salt and black pepper
500g (1lb 2oz) asparagus spears, trimmed
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Using poultry shears or strong scissors, cut down either side of each poussin's backbone and remove it. Open the bird out on a board, skin side up, and press down firmly to flatten it. Prick the skin all over with a fork.
Put the birds in a large bowl. Add the garlic, lemon zest and juice, 6 tablespoons of the wine, 1 tablespoon of the oil and 1 tablespoon each of the chives, parsley and mint. Turn to coat evenly and leave to marinate in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
Thread two metal skewers across each other through each bird to hold it flat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook under a moderately hot grill or on a barbecue, turning occasionally, for 25-30 minutes, until golden and cooked through. Baste with the marinade for the first 15 minutes.
Brush the asparagus spears very lightly with oil and add them to the grill or barbecue for the last 5-6 minutes of cooking, turning often.
Lift the poussins onto a large platter with the asparagus. Whisk together the remaining wine, oil and herbs, adding salt and pepper to taste. Spoon over the poussins and asparagus, and serve warm, with new potatoes.