Forget Pink heart biscuits or cupcakes for Valentines. Get to the main menu. This braised poussin dish is easy to put together, but like all good winter food, time and patience are needed in the cooking. It is a comfort dish but a pretty one. Sear the meat in a frying pan, put it in a roasting dish. Prep the broth in the searing pan and flavour. We added Gran Luchito Chilli paste, some lime, herbs, pepper and tomato. Once it is bubbling we pour this over the meat and add some baby vegetables. Then we slow roast the poussin in the broth, taking time to ladle spoonfuls of the cooking juices and broth over the baby chickens intermittently. When done, you can cut the meat off the bone or serve the poussins whole as you prefer. We served it on soft polenta, and some braised vegetables, their charred edges crispy , and a generous ladle-ful of the broth spooned over to make this special meal. We rather love the Luchito chilli paste, it offers a smoky and intense chilli heat but the producers have added layers of flavour with sweet agave and balsamic vinegar, onion and garlic.
We got the idea of braising the poussin this way from a site called Steve’s cooking but added our own herb, flavour combinations to the broth, making for a suitably spicy Valentine’s meal.
So some storecupboard vegetables as the base for the broth and some special baby ones to braise as a garnish.
- 2 Poussin
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 1 to 2 teaspoons Smoked Chilli Paste
- A sprig of Thyme
- Juice and grated zest of 1 medium lime
- 500ml Chicken Stock
- 6 baby leek
- 6 baby carrots
- Polenta (we used precooked which is ready in 8 minutes).
- Preheat the oven on to 180 Deg C
- Heat a large frying pan and sear the poussins till they are well browned.
- Put into a large deep sided roasting dish
- Over a medium heat, fry the onions in the poussin juices till they are softened and translucent.
- Add the garlic and heat through then the tomatoes, peppers, chilli paste and thyme leaves.
- Allow the flavours to develop for a couple of minutes, then add the zest and juice of lime and chicken stock.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Put the baby vegetables into the roasting dish around the poussin then pour over the broth.
- Cook in the oven for about an hour. Check with a meat thermometer or by inspection that the meat is thoroughly cooked through to the bone. Every 15 minutes carefully baste the poussins with the cooking juices.
- Whilst the meat is in the oven, cook the polenta according to the packet instructions
- When the meat is cooked, take it and the vegetables out from the broth
- Decant the broth into the frying pan and heat it to reduce it down to concentrate the flavour. Towards the end use a potato masher to squish the tomatoes down and this thickens the sauces a bit.
- Carve the meat off the bone if you wish to, cutting the leg meat and breast. We have allowed 1 poussin per person which is fairly generous.
- To serve, place a dollop of soft polenta on the plate, top with meat, add the braised vegetables to garnish and pour over the warm broth.
To Four Seasons Food, with its healthy theme run by Anneli and Lousia
and Cooking with herbs with Karen at Lavender and Lovage (looking for herbs and Citrus fruit)
Disclosure: We were sent a range of products from Gran Luchito and provided compensation for the food and time costs to develop a Valentine’s day dish.
If you are a chilli fan, some other Luchito chilli recipes are to be found here