Roasted Poussins


Poussin is the French word for a very young, small chicken. Here, they are enlivened by fresh thyme and oregano.


  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more for sprinkling

  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, plus more for sprinkling

  • 3 poussins (1 to 1 ½ pounds) or Cornish hens

  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray


  1. In a small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, and mustard until well combined. Whisk in garlic, chives, thyme, oregano, dry mustard, salt, and pepper; set aside. Rinse poussins well under cold water. Pat dry.

  2. Using kitchen shears, cut along either side of backbone; remove it. Turn over; gently flatten. Place marinade in a large resealable plastic bag; add poussins. Seal; turn bag to coat them with marinade. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Position a rack in center. Place a flat roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan or on a rimmed baking sheet. Coat rack with spray; set aside.

  4. Remove poussins from marinade, letting excess drip off; place on rack, breast side up. Tuck wing tips under body. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; roast until golden and cooked through, about 50 minutes. Cut each in half through breast; serve.

Cook's Notes

Cornish hens can also be used.

Related Articles