I love roast chicken, but there’s not always time to cook one properly. Under those circumstances I choose to roast a poussin, which is a chicken that has been killed at a younger age than a fully grown bird. They are incredibly versatile and can be roasted whole or spatchcocked, and also work well on the barbecue.
This is a simple and relatively quick meal that takes about ten minutes to prepare and a further 45 minutes to cook.
1 or 2 poussins
A few sprigs of your favourite herbs; I find that thyme or lemon thyme work well, but you can also choose parsley and/or oregano
A generous knob of unsalted butter
A good glug of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Enough potatoes for however many are eating
Pre-heat the oven to 180⁰/Gas 4.
Peel the potatoes and cut into cubes, smaller than you would prepare them for a roast chicken or joint.
Par boil for 5-10 minutes until they are soft on the outside, then drain well in a colander and give them a good shake to roughen up the outside edges.
Fill the poussin cavity/ies with the herbs and butter and place it/them on a roasting rack set over a roasting tin.
Season the outsides and pour over the olive oil.
When the potatoes are ready, add them to the tin, under and around the bird(s) and pop into the oven to cook.
Check every few minutes, basting regularly with the oil and juices and turning the potatoes until everything is becoming golden brown.
Check the poussin(s) after about 40 minutes and pierce with a skewer or kebab stick; just like chicken they are cooked when the juices run clear.
Remove from the oven and leave to relax for about ten minutes.
Meanwhile turn the oven up a few degrees to ensure that the potatoes crisp and brown further before serving.
If you have spare even less time, you can spatchcock the poussin(s) before roasting.