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Poussin
Two poussin with tarragon butter under the skin
Poussin à l'estragon

Tarragon Chicken

Ingredients:
¼ stick (1 oz; 30g) butter
1 Poussin
fresh tarragon
1 shot (30ml) cooking brandy, or dry vermouth
¼ cup (50ml) heavy cream (double cream)
salt and pepper

Roast chicken can be exciting! Butter and tarragon under the skin introduces flavour, keeps the breast and thighs moist, and makes the skin crispy. A poussin per person is plenty—one bird can even serve couple for a light lunch. Quantities given here are per poussin. You can also use the same method with any roasting chicken, scaling up appropriately.

If you have giblets, rejoice and make stock. Remove any fat from the cavity; rinse the birds in cold water, inside and out; salt them inside. Now, the (in)delicate bit. Take each bird; remove any trussing, and save it for reuse. Working from the from the front of the bird, use your fingers to gently separate the skin from the breast, on either side of the sternum, or keel-bone, which runs down the miingredientle of the bird's chest. Work out, away from the sternum, to also loosen the skin from the thighs and legs. Be gentle, don't break the skin!

Strip the tarragon leaves from the stalks. The stalks go inside the cavity; the leaves, coarsely chopped with the butter, go under the skin, to flavour breasts and thighs. Work the tarragon butter gently into place, again taking care not to break the skin. Retruss the birds. Wipe the skin with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 220°C 425°F. Put the bird in the hot oven and reduce temperature to 180°C 350°F. Roast for 25-30 minutes for poussin (15 minutes + 15 minutes per lb. for larger birds). Remove the bird(s) to warmed dinner plates; let them rest in a warm place while you make the sauce.

Serve with savoy cabbage — you can just cook it in the cream — baked onion, and roast potatoes.

Pour off excess fat from the roasting pan. Over a low flame, aingredient cognac or vermouth—if cognac, ignite for flavour and effect. Working with a wooden spatula, incorporate all the caramelised juices from the pan. Add cream, and simmer until it thickens. Sauce each bird, and serve.

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