Roasted lemon and paprika poussins

    55 min

    These young chickens, stuffed with lemon and flavoured with paprika, are equally enjoyable served hot, or cool with a salad. Try serving hot with a selection of cooked vegetables, or chilled with crusty bread, cos lettuce, cucumber, spring onions and finely chopped fresh mint.

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    Serves: 4 

    • 4 oven-ready poussins, about 400 g (14 oz) each
    • 2 lemons, cut in half
    • 1 clove garlic, crushed
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 2 teaspoons paprika
    • Salt and black pepper
    • To garnish: bay leaves and sprigs of fresh thyme

    Prep:5min  ›  Cook:50min  ›  Ready in:55min 

    1. Heat the oven to 220°C (425°F, gas mark 7). Arrange the poussins breast side up in a non-corrosive roasting tin. Squeeze some of the juice from half a lemon over one poussin, then rub the bird all over with the lemon before stuffing the squeezed half inside its cavity. Repeat with the remaining birds and lemon halves.
    2. Rub each bird with a little of the garlic, then coat them with olive oil and sprinkle them all over with paprika and salt and pepper to taste.
    3. Roast the birds in the centre of the oven for 15 minutes. Turn them breast side down and roast for a further 15 minutes. Finally, stand the birds upright, baste them liberally with the pan juices and roast for a further 15-20 minutes until the juices run clear when each is pierced with a knife in the thickest part of a thigh.
    4. Remove the poussins from the oven, discard the lemons and leave the birds in a warm place for 5 minutes.
    5. Meanwhile, skim off any excess fat from the pan juices and transfer the dark lemony gravy to a jug to serve separately. Garnish the poussins with bay leaves and thyme, then serve.

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