Recipe | Spice-roasted poussin with coconut pilau and parathas

I’m not going to lie. This dish requires a modicum more effort than you might be used to on this blog. Time (I’d say 40 minutes of your precious time prepping), washing up (a few pans, a doughy bowl)…it’s not a 15 minute knock up job. But my word it’s worth it. Should you be short on time, however, you could elect not to bother with the breads and serve the baby chickens with plain rice. Still damn good.

Serves 4
4 poussins
2 tablespoons garam masala
1 tablespoon chilli flakes
2 cloves garlic
1 thumb of ginger, sliced (don’t bother to peel)
Coriander stalks
Olive oil
A lemon

For the paratha breads
200g chapati flour (otherwise plain flour will do)
150ml or so of tepid water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
You could also add a pinch of ground cumin, coriander, cinnamon…whatever

For the rice
1 stick celery, chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
250g basmati rice
1 tin coconut milk
150ml water

100ml groundnut oil
Sliced shallots
Almond flakes

– Start by making the spice paste, smashing the garlic, ginger and coriander stalks in a pestle and mortar before mixing with garam masala, chilli flakes, and enough olive oil to bring together. Smear over the poussins and leave for as long as you can.

– To make the bread, mix the flour with salt and whatever spices you are using, and bring together with warm water. Add the olive oil and knead for 5 minutes. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave for 30 minutes. Break the dough into 6 pieces (you’ll always want half a piece more) and roll thinly on a floured surface. Put a dry frying pan over a high heat and cook the breads one at a time. They’ll need about 1 minute on each side. Set aside. If you like you can do these ahead, then wrap in foil and warm up in the oven.

– Preheat the oven to 220C. Season each bird with salt and a squeeze of lemon and pop in the oven, turning it down to 200C immediately. Roast for 30-40 minutes.

– The rice, then. Heat a little oil in a large saucepan and add the cumin seeds, stirring until your nostrils are filled with the ever-so-slightly body-odorous musk of cumin. Add the celery and garlic and sweat gently for a couple of minutes. Up the heat again and add the rice. Stir for a minute before adding the coconut milk and water. Season with salt and pepper, bring to a boil, cover and gently simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave until ready to serve.

– When cooked, remove the poussins and rest. Heat the groundnut oil over a strong flame and add the shallots. Deep-fry for 1 minute and remove with a slotted spoon to some kitchen paper.

– Serve the poussins with the rice, parathas, a handful of crispy shallots and a scattering of almond flakes.


Filed under Recipes

14 responses to “Recipe | Spice-roasted poussin with coconut pilau and parathas

  1. OMG looks so delicious… I need to buy poussins NOW! Have been looking for something to cook this weekend for friends… may copy and then re-post!


  2. Tes

    It looks so yummy. I think it’s perfect for a special family dinner, too. I love almond flake with rice, it sounds delicious.

  3. Looks fab and perfect for this time of year. Must try this.

  4. Nibbles

    Phwoar! Any leftovers?

  5. andresrcastello

    Had no idea you can use the coriander stalks to cook with… besides making a paste what else can you do with them?!


    • andresrcastello

      oh, and it goes without saying…the poussin look amazing

    • Hmm, good question. They’re at their best in a curry paste, I think, though they work well enough tossed through a salad or rubbed on salmon with lime juice and ginger. Experiment, and let me know how you get on. J

  6. James, every element of this dish sounds fit, and together…definitely worth the effort. If I send a bike round will you make some more?

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