Mushroom and thyme-stuffed poussins with madeira sauce
- February 2014
- Serves 2
- Hands-on time 35 min. Oven time 30-40 min, plus resting
These mushroom and thyme stuffed poussins with a delicious creamy madeira sauce are sure to wow and make a great centre dish for a special meal for two.
- 54.1g (19.2g saturated)
- 14g (4.7g sugars)
- 25g butter, plus extra to dot
- 75g small chestnut mushrooms, whizzed briefly in a food processor or finely chopped
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 British free-range pork sausage, casing removed and crumbled
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs, 2 with leaves stripped
- 20g hazelnuts, finely chopped
- 20g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 free-range poussins (500g each)
For the madeira sauce:
- Small knob of butter
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 150ml madeira
- 250ml fresh chicken stock
- 50ml single cream
- Heat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Melt the 25g butter in a frying pan then, when sizzling, add the mushrooms and cook over a high heat for 4-5 minutes until all the moisture has evaporated and the mushrooms are golden. Turn down the heat, add the shallot and garlic, then cook for another 5 minutes without colouring. Remove to a bowl to cool. Put the pan back on the heat with a little more butter if necessary and fry the sausagemeat briefly, breaking it up in the pan with a wooden spoon until just cooked through. Transfer to the bowl and toss through the mushrooms. Add the stripped thyme leaves, hazelnuts and breadcrumbs, then season generously. Cool, then divide between the cavities of the birds.
- Season the tops of the poussins and dot them with butter. Put in a roasting tin with the remaining thyme sprigs scattered on top, then cook for 10 minutes. Turn down the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6, then cook for a further 20-30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh comes out piping hot when touched and the juices run clear. Remove the birds to somewhere warm and leave to rest.
- While they’re resting, make the madeira sauce. Melt the butter in a frying pan and add the shallot, cooking for 4-5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the madeira, turn up the heat and bubble until reduced to about half, then add the chicken stock and any resting juices from the birds. Reduce until you have about 100ml liquid left in the pan. Add the cream, bring to a simmer, then season to taste and strain into a jug. Serve with herbed roast potatoes and steamed greens, if you like.
Chill the stuffed uncooked poussins overnight. To cook, continue from step 2. You can also make the sauce the day before, then reheat to serve, pouring in any resting juices at the end.
A poussin is a young chicken and usually serves one hungry person each. If you’re not big eaters, halve the recipe and share one between you.
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