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Lemon-roasted poussins, chicken or turkey breasts with bread and herb garlic sauce

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Lemon-roasted poussins, chicken or turkey breasts with bread and herb garlic sauce

If the traditionalists in the family want turkey, use ready-to-cook boneless breasts. If you're keen to barbecue, then use chicken pieces. For something different, serve roasted poussins (small chickens), one per person. To accompany, there's a garlic bread sauce which is found throughout the Middle East.


  • 1 tablespoons minced garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped oregano or marjoram
  • freshly ground black pepper and salt
  • Poultry (choose from)
  • 6 poussins or
  • 6 chicken portions (leg and thigh or breast) or
  • 2x 600 gram boneless turkey breasts
  • Bread and herb garlic sauce
  • 5cm thick slice country-style white bread, preferably stale
  • 3 small cloves garlic, peeled or 1 teaspoon minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons each hot water and extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Mix together the garlic, oil, lemon juice and herbs with plenty of pepper and salt.
  2. Place poultry in a dish and pour over the marinade, rubbing in well. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for 1-2 hours.
  3. If using poussins: Tie legs together with string and then place on a shallow roasting dish. Brush with a little melted butter. Roast at 190ºC towards top of the oven for 30-35 minutes until golden and well cooked (twist the drumstick and if it moves easily, the bird is cooked).
  4. For chicken pieces: Cook the same as above, or barbecue over a moderate heat, turning regularly until pieces are well cooked (Pierce flesh, if juices are clear, it's cooked. If pink, cook a further 5 minutes, then retest).
  5. For boneless breasts: Allow 25-30 minutes.
  6. For leg and thigh portions (with bone in): Allow 45 minutes.
  7. If using turkey breast: Brown in a hot frying pan, place on a foil-lined tray and roast at 160ºC for 45 minutes. Stand 5 minutes before carving.
  8. Serve poultry hot or cold with Bread and Herb garlic sauce, summer vegetables and rosemary and feta baked potatoes.
  9. Bread and herb garlic sauce
  10. Cut crusts from bread and discard. Finely crumb the bread in a food processor. Set aside ¼ cupful. Add the garlic and salt to the processor and mince well.
  11. Add half the hot water and, once the mixture begins to form a paste in the processor, add the remaining hot water.
  12. Gradually pour in the olive oil to make a thick smooth, mayonnaise-like mixture. Season to taste with white pepper, salt and lemon juice, then pulse in the remaining breadcrumbs to give the sauce a rougher texture. Season with salt and pepper.
  13. To make by hand: Mash the garlic and salt together on a board and place with the breadcrumbs into a mortar. Gradually work in the hot water, lemon juice and then the oil, drop by drop so that you achieve a smooth, but textured sauce.

Cooks Tips

- Marinate the poultry overnight. - Remove from the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking. - Ensure poultry is cooked right though to the bone. If having cold, once cooked, cover, cool for no more than an hour and then chill. - Another way to serve poussins is to cut down either side of the backbone with kitchen scissors and flatten out the birds. They will require 30 minutes of cooking time.

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