Roast Poussin with Lemon Stuffing

Michel Lemoine celebrates herby citrusy flavours in this dressy dinner party dish
By Michel Lemoine
Roast Poussin with Lemon Stuffing
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Effort: hard


For the stuffing

  • 2 lemons, diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, shredded
  • 4 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large pinch sugar
  • salt and black pepper

For cooking the poussins

  • 4 poussins, (young chickens)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter

For the pancakes

  • 250 g mashed potato
  • 30 g plain flour
  • 1 pinches grated nutmeg
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 50 ml double cream
  • 50 ml milk
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 tsp butter, for frying

For the sauce

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 300 ml chicken stock


1. For the stuffing, mix the lemon, garlic, parsley, olive oil, sugar, and salt and pepper in a bowl, and pound with a mortar until paste-like. Fill the cavities of each poussin with this mixture.

2. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 1 tablespoon of butter in a sturdy roasting tin placed over a medium heat.

3. Add the poussins and fry until golden, before transferring the roasting tin to the oven. Cook for about 30 minutes, until the birds are tender - remove the birds from the oven and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes. While the poussins are in the oven, make the pancakes.

4. For the pancakes, combine the mashed potato with the flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Stir in the eggs, cream and milk, and mix until smooth. Divide the potato mixture into four portions, and shape each piece into four rounds, about 1.5cm thick, 16cm diameter.

5. Heat a knob of butter in a frying pan placed over a medium heat. Fry each pancake for about two minutes on each side - until golden and remove from the pan. Cover with aluminium foil and keep warm in a low oven.

6. For the sauce melt the butter in a saucepan over a low heat, and add the shallots and thyme. Cover and cook until golden - about 5 minutes.

7. Pour in the white wine, and cook down until almost all of it has evaporated. Add the chicken stock and simmer for about 10 minutes, until the sauce takes on a coating consistency.

8. With a small spoon, scoop out the lemon and herb stuffing from the poussins and arrange on 4 serving plates.

9. Using a sharp knife, remove the bones from the poussins. Reserve any roasting juices, and add to the sauce.

10. Place each poussin over the lemon stuffing. Strain the sauce, and serve with the birds. Accompany with the warm potato pancakes.

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