Poussins stuffed with spelt
Serves 6 | prep 25 mins | total time
- 1 x 105g pack smoked pancetta slices, chopped
- 4 spring onions, chopped
- 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
- 2 celery sticks, finely diced
- 1 x 250g pouch ready-to-eat spelt
- 6 x 450g poussins
- 3 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 2 tbsp honey
- a pinch of Maldon salt
Make the stuffing, cool, then stuff the poussins the day before. Chill, but bring back to room temperature before roasting.
- Put the pancetta in a dry frying pan and cook for 2 minutes over a low heat until it releases some fat. Add the spring onions, carrot and celery to the pan, season with salt and pepper and cook over a medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring from time to time. Tip into a bowl with the spelt and mix together, let the mixture cool, taste it and season again if needed. Now stuff the poussins' cavities with it and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Mix the oil, honey and a good pinch of Maldon salt and rub all over the poussins. Put them in a large foil-lined roasting tray, breast-side down, and roast them for around 25 minutes. Then flip them so they're breast side up and cook for another 20-25 minutes. To check if they are ready, pull at the leg – it should separate easily and the juices should run clear. Serve with the potato and asparagus salad (see right), or just some lightly dressed watercress.
'We really enjoy all sorts of grains in Eastern Europe. Buckwheat (even though it's a fruit, not a grain) is popular, but also wheatberries, which are sometimes a little hard to find in the UK. Spelt is becoming more popular now though, and is a delicious alternative to the grains I grew up with.'