Prep time: 10 mins, plus marinating
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Here's a dish that could give anything served in the bistros of France a run for its money. It's quick to knock up and invariably give stunning results. Those beautiful baby chickens known as 'poussins' have a deliciously sweet and soft-textured meat. Give each guest one poussin with cook-in-the-oven pommes frites and a crisp green salad.
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- Zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
- Juice of 2 unwaxed lemons
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 poussins
- 2 tbsp freshly chopped soft-leaved herbs, such as parsley, chervil, chives, mint or basil
To serve: Crisp green salad and easy pommes frites (see tip at end of method).
1. In a bowl, mix together the honey, lemon zest and juice, mustard, garlic and olive oil. Season the poussins inside and out with the salt and pepper, then put them in an ovenproof dish. Pour the glaze all over them, then cover and set aside to marinate for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan oven/gas mark 6.
2. Uncover the poussins and transfer to the oven. Roast for 35-40 minutes, depending on size, basting with the glaze half way through cooking. Check the poussins are cooked by piercing the thigh (the thickest part of the bird) to see if the juices run clear. If they're pink, continue to cook at 5-minute intervals.
3. Cover the dish with foil and set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes. Stir the herbs into the juices, check the seasoning agian and serve.
For easy pommes frites, cut 4 medium potatoes into matchsticks the length of your middle finger. Toss in a bowl with a little olive oil and season well with salt. Tip onto a baking sheet lined with baking parchment and, halfway through cooking the chicken, roast in the oven at 200°C/180°C fan oven/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes. When the chicken comes out of the oven, continue to cook for another 10 minutes.