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This classic way of cooking poultry and wild birds is actually quite easy, it ensures an even cooking of the entire bird and produces an impressive dish once it has been cooked, despite resembling something out of a medieval dungeon during preparation.
- 1 × 350g–400g poussin (small chicken) per person
- 30g unsalted butter
- 3 cloves of garlic (optional)
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 skewers
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes (+ 20 minutes resting)
- Preheat the oven to 200°c.
- Put the poussin breast side down on a chopping board and, using a pair of sturdy scissors, cut down one side of the backbone, starting at the neck end of the bird. Then cut down the other side of the backbone to completely remove it from the bird.
- Open out the poussin, then turn it over so it is breast side up and flatten it out using the heel of your hand.
- Turn the bird back over and skewer it diagonally, going from the top of one thigh across the bird and through the middle of the opposite wing. Repeat this for the other thigh and wing.
- Place the bird onto a roasting tray, breast side up, pour over the olive oil and massage it into the skin. Season both sides of the bird with salt & pepper and put the the garlic underneath the bird. Finally, lay slices of the butter over the breasts.
- Put the poussin into the oven for 30 minutes.
- Remove the poussin from the oven, cover it with foil and allow it to rest for 15–20 minutes.
- To serve the poussin, remove the sticks and to fit it on a plate, fold the wings underneath it and cross its legs (this also makes it look slightly more elegant). We served it with braised chicory, steamed broccoli, potato gallette, the garlic from underneath the bird and the sauce made from the chicory.
- You can marinade the poussin overnight in any marinade of your choice, such as the marinade for our chicken wings.
- This is an excellent way of preparing the poussin, or even an entire full sized chicken, for barbequeing because the entire bird is able to receive an even cooking. Just remember to soak wooden skewers in water for 1 hour before hand to help prevent them bursting into flame and turning into charcoal.