Spicy Mustard and Spring Garlic Poussin

Fresh spring garlic, mustard and green chillies make a piquant marinade for baby birds - Silvena Rowe serves them with an avocado and pasilla chile (a Mexican chilli) salsa
By Silvena Rowe
Spicy Mustard and Spring Garlic Poussin
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the poussin marinade

  • 6 poussins
  • 4 small green chillies, chopped
  • 3 limes, juice only
  • 150 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 6 cloves spring garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 bunches coriander, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

For the salsa

  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 120 g pumpkin seeds
  • 2 Hass medium avocado
  • 3 limes, juice only
  • 1/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 100 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 2 tbsp snipped chives
  • 1.5 tbsp minced pasilla chillies, (available in specialist Mexican stores)


1. To prepare the birds, cut out the backbone with pair of poultry scissors. Flatten each poussin with a heavy whack to the breastbone. With a sharp knife, quarter them into 2 pieces of breast and 2 leg and thigh portions for each bird.

2. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large bowl and coat the birds with it; leave overnight for the flavours to infuse.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

4. Cook the poussins for 15-20 minutes (alternatively you can grill the birds under a medium heat for about 10-12 minutes each side).

5. For the salsa, heat a heavy frying pan and add the peanut oil. Tip in the pumpkin seeds and sauté, shaking often, for about 3 minutes - the seeds will begin to pop and become fragrant; leave on one side.

6. Cut the avocados in half and remove the stones. Cube the avocado and place in a medium bowl.

7. Whisk together the lime juice, salt and pepper, adding the olive oil gradually.

8. Pour the dressing over the avocados, stirring in the coriander, chives, pumpkin seeds and pasilla chile. Toss together gently and serve as accompaniment to the poussin.

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