Poussin … spatchcock … what’s the difference?
In Commonwealth countries like Australia, a spatchcock refers to a small chicken such as poussin. A poussin is actually a butcher’s term for young chicken, less than 28 days and weighs 400-450 grams but not above 750 grams. If it is more than 750 grams, it is called spring chicken but sometimes, poussin is also called spring chicken. In the USA, poussin is an alternative name for Cornish game hen, which is twice the size of the British poussin. Confused yet? Well, in France a spatchcock is poultry or game that is prepared for roasting or grilling.
I think I will go with France this time. Spatchcock is a name derived from medieval times, when a traveller would arrive late at an inn and a bird would be quickly “despatched” and roasted. So, spatchcock is actually way to prepare poultry. How do I know these things? Thanks to Wikipedia! 🙂
The good thing about this recipe is you can actually use either poussin, spring chicken, spatchcock or even a regular size chicken. You just have to adjust time of cooking if you are using a bigger size chicken than poussin.
- 2 poussin ( or if using older chicken, 1 x 1-1.2 kilograms)
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 125 ml cup white wine
- juice of half lemon
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Cut poultry into quarters. Heat the olive oil in a fry pan over medium heat and the poussin. Saute gently until lightly golden (about 5 minutes). Remove from pan.
2. Add garlic and rosemary leaves and cook gently until garlic softens, about 1 minute. Do not allow garlic to burn or it will become bitter. Add white wine and lemon juice and bring to a simmer.
3. Add poussin pieces to pan and turn heat very low. Cover with lid and cook gently for about 15 minutes. You will need to adjust cooking time if you are using bigger chicken.
4. Remove poussin and keep warm. Turn heat up and bring pan juices to boil. Reduce until jus thickens. Add another splash of white wine if necessary. Pour over poussin.
Serve with roasted potatoes, green beans and baby truss tomatoes.Roast some kipfler potatoes and baby truss tomatoes in oven. Drizzle with olive oil, scatter some rosemary over and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes, or until potato skins are crispy. Or why not try the this warm salad I served with some quail medallions the other night? Lovely complement to poussin.