Lemon roast poussin with spring vegetables

Lemon roast poussin with spring vegetables

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(1 ratings)

Prep: 40 mins Cook: 1 hr

More effort

Serves 4
Take your cooking up a notch with Gordon's smart take on roast chicken

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal553
  • fat39g
  • saturates13g
  • carbs12g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre6g
  • protein38g
  • salt1.79g
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  • 2 oven-ready poussin
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed but left whole
  • small bunch thyme


    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 1 lemon, halved (use the zest for the vegetables)



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 25g butter, softened



    Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

For the braised peas & lettuce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 150g smoked streaky bacon, preferably in one piece, cut into small chunks
  • 150g pearl onions, halved



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 150ml fresh chicken stock
  • 200g frozen petits pois
  • 1 Baby Gem lettuce, shredded

For the spring vegetables

  • 8 baby courgettes, sliced in half lengthways



    The courgette is a variety of cucurbit, which means it's from the same family as cucumber,…

  • 200g baby carrot, trimmed, halved on the diagonal if large
  • 10 baby leeks, trimmed



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
    Balsamic vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar

    bal-sam-ick vin-ee-gah

    True Balsamic vinegar is an artisan product from Modena, in Emilia Romagna, Italy, and is made…

  • zest 1 lemon



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 8 radishes, halved or quartered if large



    The root of a member of the mustard family, radishes have a peppery flavour and a crisp, crunchy…


  1. Heat oven to 220C/fan 200C/ gas 7. Season the inside of the poussins generously with salt and pepper, then stuff each with a garlic clove, half a bunch of thyme and a lemon half.

  2. Sit the birds in a shallow roasting dish. Smother generously with butter, then season the skin with sea salt and black pepper. Roast in the oven for about 40 mins.

  3. While the birds are roasting, prepare the accompaniments. For the braised peas and lettuce, heat a frying pan and add a drizzle of oil. Sizzle the bacon for 2 mins until starting to crisp. Turn down the heat a little, toss in the onions, then continue to cook for 6-7 mins until they are golden.

  4. Pour the chicken stock into the pan, simmer for 2 mins, then scatter in the peas and cook for 2 mins more. Lastly, stir in the lettuce and cook for 1 min until just wilted, then set aside.

  5. For the spring vegetables, bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and have a bowl of iced water at the ready. In batches, boil all the veg (except the radishes), then transfer to the iced water. The courgettes will take 3 mins, the carrots and leeks 2 mins. Drain the vegetables, then lay them on kitchen paper to dry.

  6. Heat a drizzle of olive oil in another frying pan, then stir-fry the vegetables until just starting to colour. Add the vinegar, lemon zest and a little seasoning. Turn off the heat, toss through the radishes, then drizzle with a little more oil.

  7. Check if the poussins are cooked by inserting a skewer or small knife between the leg and the breast; if the juices are pink, give the bird an extra 5-10 minutes in the oven. Once ready, remove the poussins from the dish and leave to rest, upside down, for 10 mins (this keeps the breasts from drying out). To make a simple gravy, remove the lemon halves from the poussins, squeeze into the juices in the roasting dish, then whisk together.

  8. Strain the lemony juices into a jug. You are now ready to carve the birds and plate up.

  9. Using a sharp knife, cut through the thigh joint and remove the leg. Cut each leg through the joint to separate the drumstick from the thigh. Carefully carve the breasts away from the bone, cutting through the joint to leave the wing attached. Carve each breast into 2 pieces so each portion has 2 pieces of leg and 2 pieces of breast.

  10. Spoon a mound of the braised peas and lettuce into the centre of 4 large, shallow, bowls. Neatly assemble a ‘nest’ of vegetables around the lettuce. Pile the carved poussin on top of the lettuce, giving each serving the same amount of meat. Pour over the lemony sauce and serve straight away.

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Comments, questions and tips

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26th May, 2013
I made this for a dinner party for 8. I roasted the poussins and carved them in advance and was very glad I did as the carving is quite fiddly. The dish looked and tasted great. My only comment was that there is a lot of last minute assembly to do and it is tricky to do while keeping everything hot.
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