Spatchcocked Mustard Poussin With Chestnuts.
If you’re handy with a cleaver do it yourself but it’s probably safer to ask your butcher. This is an old traditional English method for cooking any small bird. It’s split down the back and flattened to cook much more quickly in a frying pan, griddle or over hot charcoal. This gives intense flavour and prevents these little birds getting tough. The butcher will prepare them and fix them in place with a wooden skewer.
2 baby poussin, spatchcocked, washed and patted dry
2 tbspns wholegrain mustard
2 tbspns mixed chopped sage and thyme
2 tbspns extra virgin olive oil
1 tbspn butter
1 pack ready peeled whole chestnuts
1 generous glass dry white wine
Spread the mustard on the inside and outside of each flattened bird. Sprinkle with the sage and thyme and drizzle with a little of the oil. Heat a griddle pan (frying pan will do) and when hot put both birds in and cook till brown all over – approx 5 minutes each side. Put the birds in a warmed lightly oiled ovenproof dish, add the rest of the oil and butter to the pan with the chestnuts and stir gently to avoid breaking the nuts.
After 5 minutes remove from heat, add wine and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.
Pour all the sauce and chestnuts into casserole dish, cover with foil, and cook in a medium oven till poultry juices run clear, about 15-20 minutes. Serve one per person surrounded by chestnuts with sauce poured over top.
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