Last Updated on February 27, 2023
When cooking for the family I usually roast chicken but when making dinner for one or two people I often choose a couple of poussins as they cook more quickly and one bird each is plenty for those with a good appetite. As I had been gifted a bottle of Gonzalez Byass Nectar Pedro Ximenez, I thought I would make a dish with gravy using this wonderful sherry. Pedro Ximenez is designed as a dessert wine but I find that, as with all sherries, drinking is only one way of enjoying it. Cooking with fortified wines adds a wonderful sweet depth to your cooking.
This dish is one of those that I made up as I went along. I roasted the poussins on a bed of chopped celery and red pepper. I would have added onion and carrot but I didn’t have any. Instead, for added flavour, I used a head of garlic, cut in half. The garlic not only infused the dish with flavour but also cooked down into a sweet and soft garlicky loveliness that I mashed into the gravy. For yet another layer of flavour, I added fresh thyme and a chipotle chilli inside each bird. The poussins and veg, anointed with olive oil, created their own juices and this formed the basis of the gravy. While the poussins rested, I removed the veg to a plate and deglazed the roasting pan with a few splashes of Pedro Ximenez.
Roast poussin with Pedro Ximenez
- 2 400g poussin
- 3 ribs celery chopped into 3cm pieces
- 1 red pepper chopped into largeish pieces
- 2 chipotle chillis
- 1 head garlic halved
- 8 sprigs thyme
- olive oil
- sea salt and ground pepper
- 2 tbsp Nectar Pedro Ximenez
- Preheat oven to 200 C.
- Place chopped celery, red pepper and the halved head of garlic in a roasting dish just big enough to hold the two poussins snugly. Drizzle over some olive oil.
- Season the poussins and place a chipotle chilli and two sprigs of thyme in each cavity. Place on top of the veg, breast side up and drizzle with olive oil.
- Place in the hot oven and roast for 50 minutes. Check it is cooked through by piercing the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. If the juices run clear the poussins are done.
- Remove the poussins and the vegetables to a warm plate while you make the gravy.
- There should be quite a lot of juice in the bottom of the roasting pan. Pour off the oil and deglaze the pan on the hob with the Pedro Ximinez. Boil briefly while scraping off any caramelised bits on the bottom of the pan.
- Squeeze half the cloves out of their skins and mix into the gravy. Serve the rest with the veg when you dish up.
- Place the poussins on plates along with some of the veg for each person and pour over the Pedro Ximenez gravy.
- I served this with a butter bean puree heated through with a glug of olive oil but you could equally serve it with mashed potato, rice or other grains.
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