March 18, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — ros @ 8:20 pm

A cancelled tutorial has allowed me to make the first of my backlog of posts! 

Next in the series on skin-stuffed poultry we have this.

spicy poussin

Seriously, since I made this guinea fowl with chorizo stuffed skin I have not wanted to cook my birds any other way. I next tried this technique on poussin with sliced chestnut mushrooms and ham. Then on duck, simply stuffing the skin with garlic and herbs and scoring it before roasting. That was the best duck skin I ever had!

This addition to the collection was a bit of a late night rush. I was feeling uninspired and so decided to call Goon to see if he wanted something in particular for dinner. Goon went silent for a minute and then said “uhhh….chicken.” And that was it. How helpful.

So I went for a wander around Tesco. I considered buying a whole chicken and doing something with the rest of it for lunch, but then remembered there was no more room in the fridge for ay more leftovers. I thought about chicken breasts, but ran away screaming at the price. Why on earth does it cost the same to buy two breasts as it does a whole chicken!?

Eventually, after about half an hour of umming and erring I picked up two poussins on the basis that the minimal leftovers could go straight in a pot  with the carcasses for stock. Poussins are great like that! I still didn’t know what the hell to do with them but I thought a bit of improvisation wouldn’t go amiss.

All I knew was that I was going to put something under the skin. But what? I opened my cupboad in the vague hope of finding some inspiration. Instead what I found was irritation as an open bag of couscous fell out and spilled a fair bit of its contents over the kitchen floor. Curses!

After the arduous job of sweeping the floor was over, I examined the leftover couscous. Just enough for two portions was left. I thought that had to be a sign and it was decided tha tonight’s poussin would have a Moroccan theme. 

Another inspection of my cupboard revealed a half used pot of harissa paste which would be my skin stuffing. I also added some thinly sliced sautéed garlic and then put half an onion into the cavity of each bird.

As the poussins roasted I whipped up a sauce by blending the flesh of roasted red pepper  with smoked paprika and some cream. I also made a couscous accompaniment with aubergine, fennel, coriander and pine nuts.

And that was it! This meal was really simple and suprisingly good. 

The flavour of the meat was absolutely phenomenal. The poussin breasts had totally taken on the flavour of the harissa and were spicy and gorgeously garlicky. The skin didn’t crisp all over as it had on previous ocasions, but just on the wings and legs where the larger pieces of garlic had gone  The only thing I wasn’t totally happy with was the red pepper sauce. It was good in itself but it was different to the other components of the meal . Goon liked it because it balanced the heat of the poussin but I think I should have made it less creamy.

So this improvisation with poussin was very successful and, to make things even better, we have a base for rich meaty poussin soup. I think that will be used to make tomorrow’s lunch. The question is, what soup to make?  


  1. i just love the simple flavors of roasted poultry… especially with yumminess stuffed under the skin! my classic roasted chicken has skin stuffed with simply herby garlic butter, and it is so good. i can only imagine what a great flavor the harissa gave the poussins. once again, you are right up my alley with this meal, ros. simple goodness.

    Comment by amanda — March 18, 2007 @ 11:11 pm

  2. Snap. I wandered around Tesco Metro yesterday looking for chicken thighs, bought a whole chicken because it seemed much better value and cooked Pelau with it for Mothers’ Day. I intend to do another chorizo-stuffed skin soon - it was really good.

    Comment by Trig — March 19, 2007 @ 7:34 am

  3. That chicken stuffed skin is a great way of cooking a chook isn’t it?

    Comment by Freya — March 19, 2007 @ 3:18 pm

  4. This harissa Poussin looks really the Moroccon pine nuts…love everything u’ve made out there.

    Comment by kate — March 20, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

  5. Test Comment

    Comment by Andy — March 20, 2007 @ 2:12 pm

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