You’ve probably thought that if you are on your own you have to say goodbye to the Sunday Roast – wrong! Discover – a poussin! It is a small, immature chicken, sometimes called a spring chicken (so totally apt for today!) weighing about 400 – 500 grams. As the bird is only four to six weeks old the flesh is young and tender – perfect for a single serving and just begging for lots of nice flavours and spices to be added!
You can, of course, just stuff it and roast it as tiny normal roast chicken – but I know you know how to do that so we are going to learn a new skill and spatchcock it – and spice it up!
Place chicken breast-side down, with the legs towards you. Using sturdy scissors, cut up along each side of the parson’s nose and backbone to remove it, cutting through the rib bones as you go. Open the chicken out and turn over. Flatten the breastbone with the heel of your hand so that the meat is all one thickness.
Now for the spicing up!
- 1 – 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 dessertspoon grated ginger
- juice of 1/2 orange
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
Combine all of the above. Put the flattened bird in an ovenproof dish and pour over. Turn it a couple of times in the liquid and leave to marinade 2 – 3 hours or overnight. Pour off the marinade into a saucepan. Heat oven to 190oC and roast, uncovered, for about 45 minutes. You could put a potato into bake alongside and some vegetable to roast – onions, peppers, carrots to make the most of the oven space (typical Scot – won’t put the oven on unless I am doing more than one thing!). When cooked, put out onto a plate to rest and pour the juices into the saucepan with the marinade, heat together (you can thicken it a bit with some chicken or vegetable Bisto granules if you like) and serve as a sauce.
One of my favourite puddings at the moment is affogato – very simply, it’s a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a cup with a small espresso coffee poured over – and eaten immediately! If you haven’t got an espresso machine just make a (very) small cup (even a large eggcup will do) of strong coffee. And even better add a little tia maria to the coffee before you pour. Be good to yourself!