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Poussin galore


This is a finger-licking, sticky, getting-stuck-in-and-messy kind of a dish, so be sure to bring the wet-wipes, says LOUISE BARNARD PHOTO BY ROSS CURZON-BUTLER


pomegranate molasses and sweet orange, along with lots of juicy garlic cloves and some lemon zest too. Serving it up with lots of fresh herbs is a welcome addition too. I have spatchcocked these poussins,


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which means splitting them open and flattening them. The point of this is that they will cook quickly and evenly, giving them no opportunity to dry out the more tender breasts while cooking through the meatier thighs. It also means that this can all be done and cooked in less than 30 minutes: Jamie Oliver, eat your heart out! These are lovely things to serve to


children – miniature anything seems to appeal, and getting all the meat off will keep them occupied for quite some time. Just don’t blame me for the mess! I served these with roasted aubergines.


I got some little ones from the Sweet Mart and cut through them lengthways in a cross shape, leaving them attached at the stalk end. I then rubbed them with olive oil, salt and lemon juice and roasted them in the oven at the same time. The poussin and aubergines would be delicious cooked on the barbecue too. Enjoy!


✱ You can join Louise for a BABY BITES cookery class at www.babybites.co.uk


hese little birds like a good dressing, being so young. They are tender but not full of the chicken flavour that comes with the age of a more advanced specimen, so don’t hold back. This is no time to be shy with seasoning: big and bold is the way to go.


I’ve suggested a marinade of lip-puckering POUSSIN STICKY


SWEET AND


(SERVES 6-8)


INGREDIENTS 4 poussin


100ml pomegranate molasses


50ml olive oil


1 orange, zest and juice 1 lemon, zest only


3 fat garlic cloves, crushed


chopped fresh herbs, optional


METHOD


– Firstly, to prepare the poussin, remove any string that is trussing the bird. Place the bird breast- side up on a chopping board. Cut away any loose bits of fat from around the neck opening and remove the parson’s nose and wing tips. Then, using a medium- sized sharp knife, remove the spine. Insert the knife into the bird’s cavity; you should be able to see the knife tip coming out the other end. Place it to one side of the spine and press down hard, using the heal of your hand on the bird’s breast. The ribs should give


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way quite easily. When you’ve cut through one side you can open up the bird and then cut the other side of the spine to remove it. You can do this with a sturdy pair of kitchen scissors. – Now place the bird flat on the chopping board, breast-side up again, and press hard on the breast bone to flatten it. Do this to all the poussins, and then place them in a large bowl to be marinated. – When all the poussins are prepared, add the pomegranate molasses, orange juice and zest, lemon zest, garlic and salt and pepper to the bowl. Mix well to make sure the birds are completely coated. You can leave them in this marinade for anything between 30 minutes and 24 hours. If you don’t have time to leave them to marinade, though, they will still taste delicious. – Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/ gas mark 6. – Place the poussins in a roasting dish with the marinade poured over. Cook for 25 minutes or until the outside is browned and crispy and any juices run clear. – Remove the poussin from the roasting dish and reserve. Pour all the juices from the roasting dish into a small pan, place over a low heat and simmer until the sauce is reduced by about half. Add some chopped fresh herbs to this sauce if you wish, and serve with roasted aubergines and salad.


Chef!


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