Monday, 16 April 2012

Spit Roasted Poussin

Marinated in rosé, lemon, garlic, rosemary and dried chilli

 Poussin is not a bird that I cook very often. These tiny chickens are a very special treat and just ideal for the slow sizzle on a spit over charcoal embers. It's a bit like a mini version of the commercial 'Rotisserie' seen all over France; loads of chickens on large spits inticing passers by with their amazing aromas.

This special occasion was a weekend visit by our friends Lynn and Gary who had come up from Eton to stay. The previous weekend we stayed with my sister in law and were treated to roasted poussin, so it seemed the perfect indulgence and an opportunity to do something a bit different on the garden rotisserie.

I bought four poussins, each weighing about 450g which would, at a push, just about sqeeze together on my spit. The marinade made a perfect base for the light rosé wine sauce.

The meal kicked off with potted smoked trout and baby Yorkshire puddings as an entreé (from Jamie's  Great Britain), then the pousin with slow roasted vine tomatoes and a warm salad of green beans, asparagus and wild rice. For dessert, I made a decadent rosewater panna cotta with pink champagne and strawberry jelly.

INGREDIENTS (For the poussin and the rosé sauce)

- Four poussins (1 per person)
- 1 bottle of rosé (1/4 for the marinade, 3/4 for the sauce)
- 8 cloves of garlic (4 whole, 4 crushed)
- 2 lemons
- 2-3 dried red chillies, crumbled
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp of finely chopped rosemary
- 1 cup of good quality chicken stock
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 30g butter
- 1 tbsp plain flour

Weber chimney starter


Start by marinating the poussins in a large bowl or sealable plastic bag with the wine, oil, grated rind of 2 lemons, the crushed garlic, rosemary, chilli flakes and juice of one of the lemons. The night before in the fridge is ideal, but for no less than 3-4 hours at room temperature at minimum. Before assembling the spit, insert 1/4 of a lemon and a whole clove of garlic into the cavities of each bird. These were on the rotisserie for about two hours. I was using fast burning British charcoal, it was fairly breezy and a chilly ten degrees outside, so regular charcoal top ups were required. (in the oven they would take 45-60 minutes at 180 deg C).

0 hrs 5 mins

1 hr 0 mins

Once the poussins are on the fire (or in the oven), the sauce can be pre-prepared and re-heated just before serving. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until soft. Add the marinade juices and wine, then reduce down by about 3/4 over a medium heat. Strain the redution through a sieve and allow to cool a little. To finish the sauce, whisk in the flour after it has cooled, then heat gently, whisking constantly. Slowly add the chicken stock as the sauce thickens until you get to your preferred sauce consistency.

2 hrs 0 mins

These little babies were just soooo tasty. Thanks to the long slow sizzle, the meat just fell off the bones and the little fiery kick from the chilli flakes was delightful. They were fun and messy to eat and the carnage left on the plates is now in the stock pot...

Crystalized rose petals for the panna cotta
The decadent rosewater panna cotta - with pink champagne and strawberry jelly


the food dude said...

That's an amazing weekend feast! I can imagine the tender and juicy Poussin falling off the bone from the slow roast, awesome!

Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen said...

Mmmmmmmmmmm - delicious photos, Anthony. Going to have to get the BBQ out of retirement regardless of how the weather shapes up this year. Love the fancy rose petals to go with that delicate pannacotta too.

All That I'm Eating said...

What a meal! It sounds and looks fantastic, love the sound of the panacotta.

Mark Willis said...

Brilliant meal, and brilliant photography too!

maha said...

lovely!.can imagine the taste.......must be really really good.

fallen from flavour said...

juicy poussin! i've never eaten it before, would like to try it sometime. more unintentional parallel cooking: i made panna cotta yesterday too! but with green tea, though. your sugared rose petals and champagne jelly really give yours the wow factor. absolutely gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say what a fantastic night we both had on Saturday. Food was wonderful and the company was excellent. Lynn is already making moves to replicate the sauce from the poussin dish. I particularly liked the sweet both on taste and presentation and those frosted rose petals (which you almost forgot ;D) were literately the icing on the cake. Thanks again and hope to see you both through in Eton soon.
Gary & Lynn

Only Fish Recipes said...

wow...this look absolutely gorgeous dear...definitely a must try !!!

Jay said...

wonderful preparation...looks very tempting
Tasty Appetite

Denise said...

What a beautiful feast. Everything looks wonderful. You really do amaze and inspire me.

Marina@Picnic at Marina said...

Lovely grilled dinner! We haven't done any grilling yet this year...

CulinaryCache said...

This looks like one amazing recipe! I love the flavors you chose for the poussin. Sounds absolutely delicious!

Crunchy Creamy Sweet said...

This looks amazing! The rose petals for panna cotta left me speechless... Happy to be your newest follower!

lee woo said...

Taste your words before you spit them out. see the link below for more info.


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