- 2 poussins, backbone removed and butterflied
- 2 1/2 teaspoons quatre épices (ingredients follow)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
For the Quatre Épices
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Make the quatre épices by combining all four spices. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Pat the poussins dry with paper towel, and season them well with salt.
Mix 2 1/2 teaspoons quatre épices with 3 tablespoons room temperature butter. Using your hands, spread the butter in a thick layer over the front side of the birds.
In a braising pan, heat the vegetable oil on medium heat. When the oil is hot, place the poussins skin side down in the pan, and weight them down with one brick well wrapped in foil. Sear for 3 to 4 minutes, then transfer to the oven.
Bake the poussins in this position, breast side down under the brick, for 30 minutes. Then remove the bricks, and roast them breast side up for 20 minutes. Then rotate them again so that they are breast side down, and replace the bricks for the final 10 minutes. The poussins will cook for 1 hour in total. Allow the poussins to rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
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