Thyme, oregano and citrus roasted poussins

‘Now that the days are getting a little longer, I can really feel spring trying to break through the cold. At this time of year, I spoil myself with citrus fruits, such as clementines, blood oranges, lemons and grapefruits, whose sharpness and sweetness get me through the tail end of winter. This glamorous recipe is a wonderfully fragrant, herby dish of golden, roasted birds sticky with their rich, caramelised juices. Serve with garlicky roast potatoes and a crisp green salad. If poussin sounds too fancy, just replace with chicken bits for a family supper that will transport you to warmer climes and have you leaping into next season’

Thomasina Miers

Thyme, oregano and citrus roasted poussins

Extract from Diana Henry’s Crazy Water, Pickled Lemons Published by Mitchell Beazley

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A really easy, gloriously aromatic dish that looks stunning.

Serves 4


4 poussins
Salt and pepper
4 oranges, skin left on, cut
into large wedges
Olive oil
A small bunch of flat-leaf

For the marinade

Rind of 1 orange and 1 lime
Juice of 4 oranges and 1 lime
90ml (6tbsp) balsamic
125ml (4fl oz) olive oil
6 garlic cloves, crushed
Leaves from about 6 sprigs
of thyme
45ml (3tbsp) dried Greek oregano (rigani)


Mix all the marinade ingredients together, seasoning with salt and pepper. Put the poussins, breast side down, into the marinade, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Move the poussins around every so often so that all the sides get a chance to soak in the marinade.

Take the poussins out of the marinade and put them into a roasting tin with the oranges. Drizzle a little extra oil over the oranges and season them. Roast in an oven preheated to 180˚C (350˚F)/gas mark 4 for 50 minutes, spooning the marinade over everything as it cooks.

When the poussins are cooked, drain off the pan juices, skim off the fat and slightly reduce the juices in a saucepan by boiling for a few minutes, until you have something with the consistency of very light gravy.

Serve the poussins surrounded by the orange wedges and parsley leaves, with the juices on the side.

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