Roast Poussin With Blackberry Cumberland Sauce

Credit: Love Fresh Berries

If you’re not planning a large Christmas lunch, why not opt for a special dinner for two? Serve these quick-to-roast baby chickens with delicious blackberry sauce, flavoured with orange rind, winter spices and a hint of redcurrant jelly. What’s more, there’s not a Brussel sprout in sight!

Preparation Time: 25min
Cooking time: 45min
Serves 2

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/Gas Mark 5. Rinse each poussin inside and out with cold water, drain well, then put in a roasting tin. Dot the breast of each with butter, then season with salt and pepper. Put 2 bay leaves and 2 rashers of bacon on the top of each. Loosely cover the poussin with foil folding down over the sides.
  2. Add the shallots, potatoes and remaining bay leaves to the roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for 45min, removing the foil and bacon from the poussin for the last 20min and turning the potatoes and shallots and basting with the pan juices until golden. To test the poussins are ready, insert a small sharp knife or skewer through the thickest part of the leg into the breast. The juices will run clear when ready.
  4. Transfer the poussins and vegetables to a serving plate, cover with foil and keep hot in the turned-off oven, allowing the poussins to rest while you make the sauce.
  5. To make the sauce: Pare the rind from the half the orange with a vegetable peeler then cut into very thin shreds. Squeeze the juice, add both to a small saucepan with the red wine, water and redcurrant jelly. Add the spices, sugar, mustard and a little salt and pepper. Bring to the boil then cook over a medium heat, stirring until syrupy. Add the blackberries and simmer gently for 3min until the berries are just cooked.
  6. Serve the sauce with the roasted poussin, potatoes and shallots and a side dish of watercress or rocket salad.


  • Pare the rind from the half the orange with a vegetable peeler before you cut it. It’s easier to do then and squeeze it afterwards.
  • Rather than cooking two poussins, you could also give a small everyday chicken the five star treatment. Roast with butter, bay leaves and bacon for the timings given on the wrapper, then add the potatoes, shallots, bay and olive oil for the last 45min of cooking, removing the foil 20min or so before it is ready so that the skin can brown. Serve with the warm blackberry Cumberland sauce and salad as above.

Look out for more fabulous alternative Christmas dinner recipes in this week’s My Weekly magazine. It’s your feelgood read! In newsagents and supermarkets every Tuesday – or subscribe to get a great saving on the shop price.