Chicken cooked on coals, Aleppo-style,with crushed walnuts, lemon zest and mint

Chicken cooked on coals, Aleppo-style,with crushed walnuts, lemon zest and mint

By
From
New Middle Eastern Food
Serves
4
Photographer
Mark Roper

We spent a lot of time in the souks of Aleppo following our noses towards the smell of grilling chicken. As well as chickens roasting on spits, we also found stalls where chickens were split, squashed between metal holders and barbecued over glowing coals. A weber barbecue (or another solid-fuel barbecue) is ideal for cooking this recipe, and it will seem more authentic if you are cooking outdoors. Otherwise, use a ridged chargrill pan in your kitchen. Be warned, though — it will create quite a lot of smoke! If you have a hinged metal barbecue grill you’ll find it’s ideal for keeping the chicken flat. Otherwise, spear each chicken crosswise with a couple of long metal skewers. This will keep them flat.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 x 500g free-range chickens or poussins
2 garlic cloves, crushed with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
50g walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 red bullet chilli, seeded, scraped and finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped mint leaves
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander leaves
50ml olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
lemon wedges, arabic flatbread and chopped-leaf salad, to serve

Method

  1. To prepare the chickens, cut them down the back and splay them open. Mix the garlic paste with the walnuts, lemon zest and juice, chilli, mint, coriander and olive oil. Mix briefly, then pour onto the chicken and rub well all over. Set aside for 30 minutes or so.
  2. When your barbecue is glowing, or your ridged chargrill pan is smoking hot, cook the chicken for 10 minutes or so, turning it from time to time so it doesn’t burn. When the chicken is cooked, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Cut into pieces and serve straight away with lemon wedges, flatbread and salad.
Tags:
Malouf
Greg
Lucy
Middle
Eastern
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