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    Pesto Poussin

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    Pesto Poussin

    Poussin is the French name for a baby chicken. Generally one poussin will feed two, but if you are exceptionally hungry allow one small poussin per person. It has meltingly tender flesh and a delicate subtle taste which benefits from a boost of flavour from garlic and herbs. Serve with the Passion Cream Mini Pavlovas for the perfect special Valentine's Day supper. If you are using two birds, simply double up the ingredients.

    • Preparation time: 15 minutes
    • Cooking time: 60 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes 60 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 2


    • 1 tbsp Waitrose Green Pesto Sauce
    • 1 tbsp Waitrose Crème Fraîche
    • 400g Waitrose Fresh British Poussin
    • 1 lemon, cut into wedges
    • ½ x 80g pack of Waitrose Italian Cured Ham (3 slices)
    • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    • Salt
    • Freshly ground black pepper


    1. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Mix the pesto sauce and crème fraîche to make a smooth thick paste. To prepare the poussin, tuck a few lemon wedges into the cavity of the bird. Using your fingers, carefully rub the skin over the breast until it has loosened, then slide your fingers between the skin and the breast until you are able to lift it slightly. Then using either a teaspoon or fingers push the pesto mixture between the breast and skin until it covers the whole breast. Secure the legs together with string and place the poussin in a small roasting tin.
    2. Arrange the slices of Italian Cured Ham over the poussin, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the seasoning. Roast in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C, gas mark 4, and roast for a further 30-35 minutes for a single bird or 45-50 minutes for two birds.
    3. Remove the poussin from the oven and transfer to a warm serving plate. To serve a larger poussin cut in half lengthways and spoon the pan juices over the top.

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    Cook's tips

    Serve with creamy mashed potato to which a little garlic-flavoured olive oil has been added. Alternatively, serve with roasted root vegetables such as butternut squash, sweet potato and beetroot.


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    5 stars