Herb-Roasted Poussin (Baby Chicken)
Poussins, which is the French name for baby chickens, are delicious but difficult to find except through Internet and mail-order sources. Cornish game hens, which are small chickens, work equally well in this recipe, which is a quick, easy and delicious main dish for a special occasion or entertaining. Make it in any amount needed, serving one poussin per person.
- 2 poussins, about 1 pound each
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 4 large sage leaves
- 2 whole cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Preheat oven to 375° F. Pat the poussins dry with paper towels. Season inside and out with salt and pepper. Place 1 rosemary sprig, 1 thyme sprig, 2 sage leaves and 1 whole garlic clove in the cavity of each. Heat an oven-proof 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, then the poussins, breast side down. Sear about 3 minutes. Turn and sear 1 more minute. Place in the oven and roast until the juices run clear, about 20 minutes, basting with pan juices a couple times. Remove the poussins from the pan and tent with foil. Let rest while making the sauce.
Place the skillet over medium-high heat. (Keep in mind that the handle is hot. Cover it with a hot pad or towel.) Add the minced garlic and sauté about 1 minute. Add the wine and broth. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir to scrape up any browned bits in bottom of pan. Cook until reduced by about two-thirds. Serve the poussins drizzled with some of the sauce.