Roast poussin

Roast poussin, with a mixture of spring garlic and herbs tucked under the skin, is served with chive-glazed baby carrots. (Photo by Ken Hively)

Poussins are young chickens sold as a whole bird, they're generally more flavourful and tender than adult birds. They also are known as Spring Chicken.

Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 4

Note: Poussins are available frozen at Whole Foods. You may substitute 8 regular garlic cloves if green garlic is not available.

Also, if you can't find poussins, cornish game hens work just as well for this recipe.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
1/4 cup chopped chives
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped dill
4 bulbs green garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
4 poussins

1. Heat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Combine the tarragon, chives, parsley, dill and garlic in a small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon salt and toss to combine. Add one-quarter cup (one-half stick) butter and mix to make a paste.

Carefully slide fingers between flesh and skin of each poussin to make a pocket from the breast over the legs without tearing the skin. Spoon one-fourth of the herb mixture into each pocket, with a little in the cavity.

Pull the skin taut and carefully massage the herb mixture to distribute it relatively evenly. Season the birds inside and out with plenty of salt and pepper. Truss the birds if you like, or leave untrussed for a more evenly crisped skin. Rub the remaining butter on skin to coat.

3. Arrange the poussins on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Transfer to the oven and immediately lower the heat to 375 degrees. Roast until the skin is crisp and juices in the leg run clear when pricked (an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of leg should read 160 degrees), 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition information:
Each serving: 886 calories; 58 grams protein; 3 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 70 grams fat; 27 grams saturated fat; 399 mg. cholesterol; 172 mg. sodium.