The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Roast poussin with a rich apricot stuffing recipe

roast poussinI love the combination of meat and fruit. We had planned to dine on stuffed and rolled breast of lamb tonight but I couldn’t find it in the freezer.

Our freezer is not large but it requires superhuman skills to pack any extra items in. The freezer always seems to be chock a bloc. In fact I need to be in “Sherlock Holmes super sleuth” mode to find anything. If I remove something it doesn’t necessarily mean that there is suddenly a bit more space. A genie seems to hop in and fill the gap with a smirk.

We were out all day today so, before we left, there were only seconds in which to retrieve the joint for tonight. My hand fell on a small bony bag that turned out to be a poussin. One of a clutch that Danny had found half price at Tesco in the condemned food section. Perfect for two people on a diet but not Danny’s ideal choice for a Sunday roast.

He enjoys a good blow out once a week. But if you roast a poussin with a rich stuffing it can happily feed two people if you add a decent amount of vegetables and the distraction of a good bottle of wine (Thank you Miles, the Irancy was great!).

TheĀ Magimix food processor (cutter and small bowl) created the stuffing as we gazed in awe and fed the ingredients through the funnel – just add them one by one. If you allow your food processor to make this stuffing for you, follow the ingredient steps carefully starting with the garlic and ending with the water. The result was delicious. The solo parts combined into mouthfuls of tender chicken and apricot bliss.

It’s well worth buying organic apricots. These are not preserved with sulphur dioxide so are a brownish colour. But the flavour is so much more intense. If you are local to us (Cambridgeshire), Daily Bread stocks these gems.

The timing may seem long for roasting such a small bird. But if the poussin is stuffed it’s a hefty brick. Our poussin was just right, the succulent meat Full of flavour and not falling off the bones.

Roast poussin with a rich apricot stuffing recipe


  • 1 poussin (a small, very young chicken)
  • 2 slices of bacon to cover the breast. We used two slices of our own home cured loin.

Stuffing ingredients:

  • 1 fat clove of garlic
  • 3 tsp of fresh Greek small leaved basil unchopped
  • 1 slice of white bread (crusts removed)
  • A handful of organic dried apricots (perhaps twelve)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Water (just enough to bind the mixture. Drizzle through the funnel).


Set your oven to 210c (190c fan)

  1. Make your stuffing adding the ingredients in the order that they appear in the list of ingredients.
  2. Stuff the poussin and wrap in thick kitchen foil. Bake in the oven for an hour with the roast potatoes.
  3. After an hour open the foil and bake for a further 15 minutes to brown the poussin. Rest the joint in a warm place (under a thick layer of tea towels) for 15 minutes whilst you cook the rest of the vegetables. We had carrots and the first tender broad beans from our kitchen garden. Superb.

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  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hello Pamela

    If you don’t have a food processor you just have to chop the ingredients very fine.

    I got one for my birthday last year. I was a bit sniffy about them for years until I observed lots of clients using them regularly when they were cooking supper. They do save loads and loads of time.

    Danny was under enthusiastic as we have very little space but now is a convert too. If I had to cut down to 3 bits of equipment it would be my stick blender, the Magimix and the slow cooker.

    Hi Susan

    I’m impressed that you can eat something that you have grown every day!

    Your open garden day sounds lovely – I love visiting other people’s gardens. Always fascinating and inspirational.

    Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Susan Connolly

    I have just discovered your ‘blog’ and am finding it fascinating. Can’t imagine how you have time to add to it so frequently with such a busy life…. but thank you for sharing.
    (We’re nothig even approaching ‘self-sufficiency’ but aim to eat some item of fruit of veg we have grown once a day…. if we can!)
    – and yesterday we opened our garden by invitation to family, friends, colleagues and neighbours – about 120 folk came and enjoyed just a ‘window’ of sunshine in an otherwise cold and wet East Yorkshire weekend. They liked the scones with strawberries, buns and tea too – and we loved having a garden full of friends.
    Kind regards – I shall read your articles with interest.

  3. Pamela

    Sounds lovely. What if you don’t have a food processor? It is just about the only piece of kitchen equipment I don’t have, but you have to draw the line somewhere and I wouldn’t give up my juicer to make way for one.

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