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
Saha
Serves
4
Photographer
Matt Harvey

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 barbecuing 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 griddle pan in your kitchen. Be warned, though – it will create quite a lot of smoke! If you have a fold-over metal barbecue grill you’ll find they’re 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
2 500 g free-range chickens or poussins
2 garlic cloves, crushed with ½ teaspoon salt
50g walnuts, lightly toasted and chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 red bullet chilli, seeded, scraped and finely chopped
1/4 cup mint leaves, finely chopped
1/4 cup coriander leaves, finely chopped
50ml olive oil
salt and pepper
lemon wedges, to serve

Method

  1. To prepare the chickens, cut them down the back and splay them open.
  2. 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.
  3. When your barbecue is glowing (or your ridged griddle pan is smoking hot), cook the chicken for 10 minutes or so, turning it from time to time so it doesn’t burn.
  4. When the chicken is cooked, season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Cut into pieces and serve with wedges of lemon. Arabic bread and a chopped-leaf salad make good accompaniments.
Tags:
Saha
Malouf
Lucy
Greg
Lebanon
Lebanese
Syria
Syrian
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