Roast poussin, thyme and smoked baby leeks

Welcome the spring with Tristan Welchs main course based on simple, fresh ingredients
By Tristan Welch
Roast poussin, thyme and smoked baby leeks
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 2 bunches baby leeks, cleaned and trimmed
  • 125 g butter, plus extra for frying leeks
  • few sprigs thyme
  • 1 poussin, jointed
  • large splash white wine
  • 150 ml chicken stock, plus a little extra

For the ragout of leeks

  • knob butter
  • 1 sprigs thyme
  • 2 large leeks, washed and cut into diamonds
  • splashes chicken stock


1. To smoke the baby leeks, put them in a dry, hot pan and allow them to burn on all sides. Remove them from the pan and cool. When cool enough to handle, peel off and discard the outside layer, trim the remaining leeks and put to one side.

2. Melt the butter with 2-3 thyme sprigs in a large, heavy-based frying pan. Add the poussin and gently fry for 10 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove the poussin from the pan and keep warm.

3. Add a good splash of white wine to the pan to deglaze and allow to reduce a little. Stir in the chicken stock and simmer while you prepare the leeks.

4. For the ragout of leeks: melt a knob of butter with the thyme sprig in a heavy-based pan on a medium heat. Add the diamonds of leeks and gently sweat down, allowing the natural moisture to come out of the leek and emulsify with the butter. To help the leeks cook down, add a touch of chicken stock and cover with a cartouche (a paper cover) this will help the vegetables to steam.

5. When ready, remove the poussin from the pan and add a good glug of white wine. Allow the alcohol to boil off (about 1 minutes), then add the chicken stock and once it is piping hot put the poussin back in.

6. To serve, put a little ragout of leek onto each plate, top with a serving of poussin, arrange the smoked leeks on top and pour on some sauce.

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