This recipe is suitable for many kinds of small birds, including pigeons, snipe and partridges. It would also work with quail, but decrease the cooking time and spread the citrus mixture over, rather than under, the fragile skin.
PREP TIME: 15 min
COOK TIME: 30 min
READY TIME: 45 min
CALORIES: 545 (per serving)
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- 2 poussins (about 750 g/ 1½ lb each/)
- 55 g/2 oz/4 tbsp butter, softened
- 30 ml/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2.5 ml/½ tsp dried thyme
- 1.5 ml/¼ tsp cayenne pepper, or to taste
- Grated rind and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
- Grated rind and juice of 1 unwaxed lime
- 30 ml/2 tbsp honey
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Tomato salad, to serve
- Fresh dill, to garnish
1 Using kitchen scissors, cut along both sides of the backbone of each bird; remove and discard. Cut the birds in half along the the breast bone, then using a rolling pin, press down to flatten.
2 Beat the butter in a small bowl, then beat in 15 ml/1 tbsp of the olive oil, the garlic, thyme, cayenne, salt and pepper, half the lemon and lime rind and 15 ml/1 tbsp each of the lemon and lime juice.
3 Using your fingertips, carefully loosen the skin of each poussin breast. With a round-bladed knife or small palette knife, spread the butter mixture evenly between the skin and breast meat.
4 Preheat the grill and line a grill pan with foil. In a small bowl, mix together the remaining olive oil, lemon and lime juices and the honey. Place the bird halves, skin side up, on the grill pan and brush with the juice mixture.
5 Grill for 10-12 minutes, basting once or twice with the juices. Turn over and grill for 7-10 minutes, basting once, or until juices run clear when the thigh is pierced with a knife. Serve with the tomato salad, garnished with dill.
Calories: 545 Kcal
Fat: 38 g
Carbs: 4 g
Protein: 45 g
If smaller poussins, about 450 g/ 1 lb each, are available, serve one per person. Increase the butter to 85 g/3 oz/6 tbsp, if necessary.