Roasted poussin (galletto, baby chicken)

January 7, 2019

Roasted poussin (galletto, baby chicken)

This is our favourite Italian chicken (galletto, baby chicken) meal recipe.

Serves 4:

  • 4 poussin (baby chicken, galletto)
  • 80 g of butter, cut into four pieces
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 300 g of mushrooms of your choice, I use chanterelles if available, sliced 
  • 120 ml of dry white wine
  • 150 ml of chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons of double cream or crème fraîche

Preheat the oven to 220 C.

Place the chickens in a roasting dish, pour in some olive oil into the dish and rub it into the skin of each poussin. Arrange each one of them breast up and season with salt and pepper.

Into the cavities of the chickens put one squashed garlic clove (squash it with a back of your knife against a chopping board) and one cube of butter.

Roast at this temperature for about 10-15 minutes.

Lower the temperature to 200 C (while the chicken is sill in the oven), baste the poussin with the released juices and carry on roasting for another 25-30 minutes (depending on the size but it shouldn’t take longer than that) basting occasionally.

For the sauce:

Take the poussin out of the baking dish squeezing extra butter and garlic out of the cavities.

Place them on a separate dish and cover with aluminium foil.

Next in a heavy based pan (that can accommodate these 4 baby chickens) heat up the roasting juices and add the mushrooms. Very often I use already cooked mushrooms with parsley that I keep frozen in batches. A wide choice of mushrooms is not very often available in Rome.

Cook all together for about 5 minutes and then add the white wine. Carry on cooking until the wine almost evaporates. Now pour in the stock and add the cream. Season to taste (you can add some herbs now like fresh sage and rosemary) and simmer until the sauce has thickened a bit.

Put the baby chickens back into the pan and cook all together for a few minutes basting them to make sure they are warm and ready to serve.

I really like to serve the galletto with braised lentils (see the recipe) and a salad, celeriac and carrot for example (see the recipe).