The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Sunday lunch: Pot roast Poussin (gypsy style) recipe

pot roast poussin

“Danny, I’m really sorry but I’ve forgotten to take the pheasant out of the freezer.”
It was eight in the morning and my mum was arriving for lunch in a few hours. Danny turned over.
“Thank God for that. I much prefer the poussin version of the dish.”

We snoozed until 9.47 and then D jumped into Jalopy and shot down to Newmarket. He arrived at the supermarket as the doors opened and was back at 10.10 with two plump poussin.

My Mum is a foodie. At the eating rather than the cooking end of the spectrum. Her last two visits have been blown out at the last minute as she has been ill. At 87 she just hasn’t the resistance of even five years ago. We wanted to cook her something very special today. She loves pheasant but to be quite honest she would have been happy with a braised bedroom slipper. Nowadays, being fit enough to attend the lunch is the main thing.

The poussin flesh is lighter than the pheasant and perfect for a celebration meal on a hot summer’s day. It is quite rich so we still have one poussin to play with later in the week. My mum loved the poussin variation and noted down the recipe as it is so easy to make.

Preparation takes about 15 minutes, which gives you loads of time to get on with something else such as retreating to the sofa with the Sunday papers whilst it simmers gently in the oven. Ahh, the joys of slow cooking.

When the meat is cooked you have the major components of a great meal. Succulent browned meat, a fabulous sauce, crispy bacon and instant apple sauce. While all this resting, there is time to prepare and cook some vegetables. We had Jersey Royal potatoes, runner beans and carrots. A very special yet easy lunch. Perfect.

Pot roast Poussin (gypsy style) recipe (for four )


  • 2 poussin
  • 2 thick slices of white doughy bread to line the base of the casserole (crusts removed)
  • 1 Bramley cooking apple
  • 6 slices of unsmoked streaky bacon
  • 1 large glass of white wine (150ml)
  • 3-4 of sprigs of thyme (9-12 seperate twigs)


Pre heat oven to 160c (140c fan)
Ideally you have an oval casserole and aluminium foil

  1. Layer the base of the casserole with the slices of bread.
  2. Quarter the Bramley cooking apple and remove the core (no need to peel the apple). Put half the apple, quartered again into the cavities of the poussin. Chop the remaining half apple and scatter over the bread.
  3. Chop three of the streaky bacon slices and scatter over the bread.
  4. Remove the woody bits from the thyme and scatter the leaves and soft stems onto the layer of bread.
  5. Place the three remaining slices of bacon over the breast of the birds and carefully place them breast down on the layer of bread, apples and bacon.
  6. Pour the glass of wine over the bird.
  7. Put a piece of foil under the casserole lid to make a tight seal. Place in the centre of the preheated oven for 1.5 hours.
  8. After 1.5 hours, adjust the oven temperature 180c (160c fan) and turn the birds over, breast up. Remove the bacon pieces that have covered the breasts to a separate oven proof dish. Return the casserole (without lid) to the oven to brown the birds for 20-25 minutes. Put the bacon pieces on the top shelf and remove when they are crisp (approx. 10 mins). Keep them in a warm place.
  9. Remove the poussin to a warm place and scoop out the baked apple from the cavities (instant apple sauce).
  10. Liquidise your sauce using a hand blender. Allow to stand in a warm place whilst you prepare your vegetables.

  Leave a reply


  1. Fiona Nevile

    Hi Rosemary,

    Thanks for dropping by. Everyone seems to love this dish. Our mothers sound very similar. My mum was fine until about a year ago and then things started to wear out. She turned to me in the car last summer and said, “I hate getting old.” It must be so frustrating not to be able to garden anymore and lose the mobility that we all take so much for granted. She was a great gardener. She walked slowly round the garden here on Sunday and was so enthusiastic about the changes and flowers.

    Hi Amanda

    We were pleased that my mum could make it this time. She is going into hospital soon to have a new knee.

    I want to develop more recipes like this – that make Sunday lunch easy.

  2. Amanda

    So glad your mum was well enough to make it to you for lunch this time. That dish sounds very special indeed and easy on the cook. Perfect for days like that.

  3. Rosemary

    This sounds fabulous,can’t wait to try it out.I am always looking for different chicken recipes as my daughter is very conservative about food and chicken is her number one choice.My Mother was 87 in March and now has many illnesses,as she was always such an enthusiastic gardener,cook and loved to visit other people’s gardens and historic houses.Being confined to the house most of the time makes her very frustrated.Please let me die before I get old !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags are not allowed.

2,241,096 Spambots Blocked by Simple Comments

Copyright © 2006-2023 Cottage Smallholder      Our Privacy Policy      Advertise on Cottage Smallholder