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    Sticky Spatchcocked Poussin

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    Sticky Spatchcocked Poussin

    Spatchcocking is an ideal way to barbecue as it flattens the bird and ensures it cooks evenly, and one poussin is a good size for two people. Marinating the poussin gets lots of flavours into the meat, and honey is a great way of getting a nice sticky finish without the addition of oil. If you want to make this dish really low-fat, remove the poussins' skin before you begin.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus marinating
    • Cooking time: 30 minutes
    • Total time: 45 minutes, plus marinating time 45 minutes

    Serves: 6


    • 6 bamboo skewers
    • 3 poussins, whole or ready-spatchcocked
    • 4 tbsp dark soy sauce
    • 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 2-3 red chillies (to taste), finely chopped
    • 2 tbsp mustard seeds
    • 3 tbsp clear honey


    1. Soak the skewers in cold water for 30 minutes so they won't burn on the barbecue.
    2. To spatchcock the poussins yourself, remove any trussing, then cut the wing pinions at the joint with scissors. Holding the bird breast-side down, cut along each side of the backbone and remove it. Clean the inside of the poussin with a paper towel and trim off excess skin. Open the bird out and snip the wishbone in half. Place the bird, skin-side up, on a board with the legs turned in. With the heel of you hand, press down sharply on the breast to break the breastbone and flatten the bird. Make a small slit in the skin between the leg and the pointed end of the breast and tuck in the end of the drumsticks. (If the bird is skinned, omit this step.) Thread two skewers crosswise through the bird to keep it flat. Repeat with the other poussins.
    3. Mix the soy sauce, vinegar, chillies, mustard seeds and 1 tbsp honey. Pour over the poussins, cover and chill for at least an hour, or up to 4.
    4. Remove the poussins from the marinade, letting most of it drip off. Cook on a hot barbecue for 5 minutes each side. (This initial cooking, without too much marinade, prevents the outside of the meat charring before the inside is cooked). Meanwhile, mix the last 3 tbsp honey into the remaining marinade. Cook the poussins for another 15-20 minutes, turning and brushing with marinade at 5-minute intervals, until cooked through. (Stop adding marinade about 5 minutes before the end of cooking, so it all cooks through). Remove the skewers, cut each bird in half down the centre with a sharp knife and serve.

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