A poussin (poo-sahn) is a very small chicken, aged between 6 and 8 weeks, and weighing between 12 ounces and 2 pounds. A poussin can be roasted, fried or grilled , and is generally served either whole or split in half.
To split a poussin, place it on a flat working surface and, using a sharp, pointed knife, split it through the breast- bone. Using both hands, grasp each side of the poussin and bend back until the ribs crack. With a sharp knife, cut through the skin to separate the halves completely.
Poussin may be roasted whole, halved or split and opened out flat. Fried or grilled poussin should be halved or split and opened out flat.
To roast poussin, preheat the oven to fairly hot
375 °F (Gas MARK 5,
1 tablespoon of butter in a roasting tin and brush the poussin with more melted butter and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Place the tin in the oven and bake the poussin for
25 minutes, basting occasionally, or until the breast is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.
To fry poussin, melt 1 ounce of butter in a large frying-pan. When the foam subsides, add the poussin to the pan and fry it, turning occasionally, for 18 minutes or until the breast is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife and the juices that run out are clear.
To grill poussin, preheat the grill to high. Melt 1 ounce of butter in the grill . Place the poussin in the butter, skin side uppermost, and baste with the melted butter. Place the pan under the grill and grill the poussin for 8 minutes, basting once. Turn the poussin over and baste with the butter. Grill the poussin for a further 8 minutes, basting once, or until the breast is tender when pierced with the point of a sharp knife.