Poussins are young chickens, usually less than 28 days old. They are quite small, usually weighing around 400-500g and each bird is perfect for one serving. You’ll usually find them in Spring in large supermarkets or poulterers. They have a subtle and light flavour, and are really nice cooked spathcocked on the barbeque or roasted in the oven. I found this recipe in an old Olive magazine and have adapted it slightly. The original recipe uses cream cheese and herbs, which I have substituted for one of my favourite cheeses to cook with – the garlicky and flavourful Boursin. Unfortunately, the original recipe is not available online. This is a lovely dinner for two, that can be easily multiplied if you need. Great for the weekend!

Poussins stuffed with Boursin cheese, sun-dried tomatoes and olives

Serves 2 | Prep 15 minutes | Cook 40 minutes + resting  | Gluten-free | A little effort
You’ll need:
  • 2 whole poussins, oven-ready (I used Gressingham’s corn-fed poussins);
  • 25g butter, softened;
  • 150g Boursin cheese;
  • 2 sun-dried tomatoes, chopped;
  • 20g black pitted olives, chopped;
  • 2 tbsp olive oil.

First, take the poussins out of the fridge 30 minutes before cooking so that they come up to room temperature.

When ready to cook, heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Mix all the ingredients apart from the poussins and butter, and season to taste.

To prepare the poussins, put the birds down so that the cavity is facing you. Carefully use your fingers to prise away the breast skin from the flesh, creating a pocket for the stuffing. Carefully push half the filling under the skin of each bird until it is spread evenly under the skin. Use some toothpicks to close the skin back up. Rub the birds with the softened butter and season all over (this will help the skin to crisp).

Roast for 35 minutes, basting them with an juices half way through. Check they are cooked by piercing at the thickest part of the thigh, if the juices run clear the birds are cooked. If not, give them another 5-10 minutes. Remove and wrap each bird in kitchen foil and rest, breast-side down for a further 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with roast potatoes and salad.

Original recipe from Olive magazine, issue March 2014.