Poussin with warm fennel, potato and pancetta salad

Poussin with warm fennel, potato and pancetta salad

By
From
Leiths How to Cook
Serves
4
Photographer
Peter Cassidy

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 poussin
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the salad

Quantity Ingredient
1 fennel bulb
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
250g new potatoes
100 g piece pancetta
1/4 bunch flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
bunch watercress

Method

  1. Heat the grill to its highest setting and the oven to 200ºC. Spatchcock the poussin.
  2. Top and tail the fennel bulb and slice it very thinly through the root end. Scatter it in a lightly oiled shallow roasting tin and sprinkle the fennel seeds over the top.
  3. Place the spatchcocked poussin on top of the fennel, skin side up, drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place under the grill for about 5 minutes to brown and crisp the skin, then transfer to the oven and roast for 20–30 minutes, or until cooked through. Check by cutting down to the bone on the non-skin side of the thigh and leg; the juices should run clear.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in a small saucepan of boiling salted water until tender. While the potatoes are cooking, derind the pancetta and cut into lardons. Chop enough parsley leaves to give you ½ tablespoon. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a small frying pan and sauté the pancetta until golden. Remove from the heat and add the sherry vinegar, parsley and some salt and pepper.
  5. When the potatoes are tender, drain and halve or quarter them, depending on their size, then transfer to a large bowl. Pour the pancetta dressing over the potatoes and toss lightly to dress them.
  6. Remove the cooked poussin to a board and set aside to rest in a warm place for 5 minutes.
  7. Wash and pick over the watercress. Scrape the fennel into the potatoes, taste and adjust the seasoning and stir through a handful of watercress. Serve the poussin with the warm salad.

Note

  • This versatile warm salad is also very good with pan-fried duck breasts and other chicken and guinea fowl dishes.

Variations

  • Poussin with a warm potato and spring onion salad: Omit the potato, fennel and pancetta salad. Place the poussin on a lipped baking tray, drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook as for the main recipe. Boil 500 g new potatoes and lightly crush while still warm. Add 4 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal, 75 ml mayonnaise, 75 ml crème fraîche thinned with a little water, 1–2 tablespoons drained baby capers, 1 tablespoon chopped chives and 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley. Mix together and season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Scatter 2 tablespoons toasted flaked almonds over the salad and serve with the poussin.

    Poussin on a salad of Jersey Royals with radish and mint: Omit the potato, fennel and pancetta salad. Place the poussin on a lipped baking tray, drizzle with the 2 tablespoons olive oil and cook as for the main recipe. Serve with a salad of Jersey Royals with radish and mint. Chives or flat-leaf parsley also work well in this salad, in place of mint.
Tags:
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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