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A delicious new Christmas recipe for roasted poussin

Executive Chef Renee Martillano from Eureka 89 has sent us this sophisticated recipe for your Christmas feast. Try your very own roasted poussin with sage, pine nut, and cherry jus this festive season – your family are bound to love it.
“Every time I create this recipe it makes me feel how we – as a global community – have layers of times and experience, and how together as a family – brother and sister, husband and wife, mother and child, friend and foe – we can be reminded of a common understanding during that festive time.” -Renee Martillano

One of the many amazing other dishes offered at Eureka 89 (photo: Eureka 89 Facebook page)


1 whole deboned poussin
10 thin slices pancetta
100grams caul fat (soaked in cold water for 1 hour)
Chicken mousse:
1 skinless chicken breast with sinew removed and diced small
50 ml pouring cream
1 egg white
100 grams, roasted pine nuts
6 leaves, finely sliced sage
Salt and pepper for seasoning
20g tomato paste
10 pieces finely chopped pitted cherry
1 peeled, large-diced brown onion
3 cloves garlic
200 ml red wine
500ml olive oil
1 bay leaf
4 sprigs thyme
2 stalks of large-diced celery
1 peeled large-diced carrot
2L water
100 ml port



  • Debone poussin and set aside in fridge
  • Roughly cut the bones and roast at 180degC for ten minutes. Set aside
  • Saute celery, carrot, onion, garlic and thyme in a small amount of oil until wilted and lightly coloured – but not burnt
  • Add tomato paste and stir for two minutes
  • Add the red wine and port to the mixture, then reduce until nearly dry
  • Add the previously roasted bones and two litres of cold water
  • Simmer for two hours on medium heat, then strain with a colander and add to a new (clean) pot
  • Reduce the liquid to a sauce consistency (thick, but not gluggy)
  • Add chopped cherries five minutes before service

Chicken mousse:

  • Add the diced chicken breast to a blender and blend until the mixture resembles a smooth paste
  • Add the egg white, cream, salt and pepper, and then remove to a clean bowl
  • Fold the roasted pine nut and sage into the mix, then transfer to a piping bag and refrigerate


  • Cut open and lay the deboned poussin flat (butterfly) on the chopping board
  • Turn the butterflied poussin so either of the two long sides are closest to you, then pipe the chicken mousse in a line, ready to roll it up
  • Sprinklea small amount of salt and pepper over the poussin, then start rolling lengthways (like sushi). Set aside in the fridge
  • Lay the ten slices of pancetta so it forms a sheet (slightly overlapping) onto the chopping board
  • Place the rolled poussin on top of the pancetta sheet so it is ready to roll again (along the longest side and closest to you), then carefully roll so that it is tight
  • Transfer the rolled poussin into a clean (bare) baking tray and set aside in the fridge
  • Drain the caul fat and squeeze the extra water off, then lay on a clean chopping board like a piece of paper. Trim the edges to the approximate size of your poussin roll (around A4 size)
  • Repeat the rolling step – making sure to tuck the edges in as you go (like when making a crepe) until the poussin is enclosed like a rolled parcel. Note – this step must be done separately or it will not work
  • Tightly roll the entire parcel in double-layered glad wrap, then twist and tie the ends of the glad wrap into a knot and set aside in the fridge
  • Bring a large 3-5 litre pot of water to the boil (must be large enough to submerge the poussin)
  • Add the poussin, then bring the water back to the boil and turn down to simmer. Do not let the poussin boil rapidly
  • Poach for 15 minutes. Remove and check if poussin is very firm – if not, continue to simmer for another five minutes, or until firm
  • Set aside until cool, then remove the glad wrap and sear in a hot pan with a little olive oil until all sides are a light golden colour
  • Roast in the oven for 15 minutes at 180 degrees, remove and rest for five minutes

Service and notes

  • Slice the poussin into medallions (5cm thick rounds), and lay on a platter with your choice of root vegetables – sauce the poussin on the platter or plate as desired
  • Poussin is young chicken. You can get it from Queen Victoria Market, or ask your butcher – if you can’t find it you can use large free-range chicken breast instead
  • The alcohol burns off in the cooking process, however may be replaced with non-alcoholic versions, or thick berry juice