Stuffed Poussin with Sweetbreads, Wild Rice and Swiss Chard

From Michael Bonacini, golden roasted poussins stuffed with a delectable mix of creamy sweetbreads, nutty wild rice, sultanas and chard
Stuffed Poussin with Sweetbreads, Wild Rice and Swiss Chard
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus soaking
  • Effort: medium



  • 350 g sweetbreads, soaked in cold water for 1 hour
  • 60 g wild rice, soaked for 1 hour
  • 8 large leaves Swiss chard
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, diced
  • 1 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp thyme, chopped
  • 60 g sultanas, soaked in white wine for 30 minutes
  • 4 poussins, weighing about 450g each
  • 4 small bunches of red grapes
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 60 g butter, at room temperature
  • coarse sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper


1. Drain the sweetbreads and put in a saucepan of cold water. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 3 minutes, then drain. Remove the membrane and any discoloured bits. Place between two plates with a weight on top. Chill until firm.

2. While the sweetbreads are firming up, drain the rice and put in a saucepan with enough water to cover by the depth of your thumbnail. Add a good pinch of salt, cover tightly and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low and simmer for about 30 minutes until the grains split open. Drain, if necessary, and set aside.

3. While the rice is cooking, cut away the stems from the chard leaves and discard. Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Drop in the chard, bring back to the boil and blanch for 1 minute. Drain, pressing out as much liquid as possible with the back of a wooden spoon. Chop into small chunks.

4. Slice the sweetbreads into 2cm pieces.

5. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the sweetbreads and gently fry for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Add the shallots, garlic and 1 tablespoon of the thyme and fry for another minute.

6. Tip the mixture into a bowl and leave to cool. Once cool, mix in the sweetbreads, wild rice, Swiss chard and soaked sultanas. Season with coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

7. Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas 5.

8. Rinse the inside of the birds with water and season. Spoon the stuffing into the cavities and truss the birds with string. Rub soft butter, the chopped rosemary and the remaining thyme over the skin and season with salt and pepper.

9. Heat an ovenproof pan over medium-high heat. Add the birds and sear on all sides until browned.

10. Add a splash of water to the pan. Place a sprig of grapes on each bird. Roast for 20-25 minutes or until the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer.

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