I love a little poussin… tender and sweet meat, and we are not greedy, so one does the two of us nicely. I like to spatchcock them, they seem to cook more evenly, and I stuff them under the skin to keep the meat from drying out.
If you don’t know how to spatchcock a chicken (you can do big ones too, great way to flatten them for cooking on a barbeque in the summer) Here is a You Tube instruction video..for a poussin, I don’t bother to remove the breastbone, just cut through the wishbone.
In case the video won’t load for you, you just use scissors or poultry shears to cut each side of the backbone, then take out the breastbone (for a larger chicken) or just snip the wishbone , so that you can press the chicken/poussin flat. Turn it over, and adjust the legs so that it looks more like a little frog.
You can roast just as it is, in the normal way, but I like to stuff it under the skin. It looks pretty and adds a lot of flavour.
The Stuffing I like is based on ordinary sage and onion packet stuffing, with some added bits for crunch and flavour. To half a small pack of stuffing mix, I add 2 sausages – raw, taken from their skins, and mixed into the HOT stuffing mix after the boiling water has been added. Then a chopped stick of celery, and a small handful of pinenuts.
Stuffing a chicken (or poussin) under the skin is a brilliant way to keep the flesh soft and to give a lovely herby flavour, whilst still allowing the skin to go golden brown. You just push your fingers under the skin to loosen it away from the flesh, then gently push the stuffing into the pocket you have made, then smooth it out from outside. This will give you an idea of what I mean.. although you can imagine a poussin is rather fiddlier, but well worth the effort.
Roast for an hour, with just a spray of oil on the skin, you don’t need to baste as the stuffing will be basting the meat from the inside. To serve a poussin for two people, just cut straight down through the centre of the breast, into two half birds. As you have snipped the wishbone, it will cut easily and cleanly.
With proper roast accompaniments , and a good chicken gravy a very delicious Sunday dinner.