Grilled poussins with mustard, tarragon & garlic


I quite like eating things that are portioned for me. Like a mini tart, individual mac and cheese, a whole red mullet or a little quail or poussin. It feels special and can look pretty impressive.


I bought two poussin on a whim and read online that a good way to cook them was to grill rather than roast. It helps maintain succulence apparently, and these certainly were moist. The article suggested spatchcocking and marinating the poussins first to further encourage an even, quick cook and add flavour.


I just grabbed what I had and used it as a marinade that was really quite tasty. You really could taste all of the ingredients once cooked… the occasional burst of tarragon or thyme or garlic.


I served the grilled birds with mashed swede, greens and yoghurt – the yoghurt was really nice with it. It was a nice surprise that you actually get quite a generous portion of meat on a poussin. I was too full to finish a whole one! (I didn’t throw it away, my boyfriend is a human dustbin luckily so nothing goes to waste in this house!)


You will need:

2 cornfed poussins, spatchcocked
(I used a video found on YouTube as a guide to help with this!)

For the marinade:

2 tbspns mustard
4 tbspns olive oil
2 cloves of crushed garlic
1 sprig chopped tarragon
1/2 lemon zest
Bunch each of fresh tarragon and thyme
Salt, pepper


1 – Heat the oil gently with the chopped tarragon and lemon zest until fragrant and warm; leave to cool
2 – When cool combine the oil with the garlic, mustard and some salt and pepper
3 – Get the spatchcocked birds and place in a deep tray; pour over the oil and toss to cover before scattering the thyme and tarragon over and around the poussins
4 – Marinate overnight
5 – When ready to cook, preheat an overhead grill on a medium heat; place the poussins underneath once hot
6 – Cook for around 30 minutes, turning halfway through, until the skin is crisp and the meat cooked



4 thoughts on “Grilled poussins with mustard, tarragon & garlic

  1. These look great. I have a human dustbin in my house too but I also like to save some for lunch the next day. You’re right, individual things have an extra special feeling about them. I think it’s due to eating these sorts of things at restaurants more than at home. Home style cooking tends to be one big casserole dish to dig in from.

  2. Hi Becky, I haven’t commented on your blog for a while. I’ve been back studying in Beijing and not having a kitchen makes me very frustrated. So I do look on your blog a lot, but it just makes me miss cooking even more! You’re such a good cook, you work with amazing flavors and try out new things a lot, even on random week nights – I find that very cool and inspiring! Keep being amazing and I’ll just try to work on my frustration :)

    1. Oh this is such a joy/agony to read! So pleased that you find my work inspiring, that’s really cool. But I’m so gutted for you that you don’t get to do any cooking yourself! I can’t imagine not having a kitchen :-( at least you’re in Beijing and surrounded by all kinds of amazing culinary delights, I’m guessing?! Hope it doesn’t get you down too much! :-(

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