Poussin casserole with cucumber salad by Caroline Fleming

Caroline Fleming

Caroline Fleming

13th November 2017

Poussin casserole with cucumber salad by Caroline Fleming

Old-fashioned roast chicken with cucumber salad and white sauce was always my father’s birthday dinner. So simple, and yet through all his 78 years, it was his favourite dish. I have lots of variations on that classic dish, as all my family love it. Here I have swapped a chicken for two poussins, but you can use chicken if you prefer. I mainly serve this casserole in the winter months as it is so delicious, comforting and cosy. Tarragon is a herb I adore, and the way it infuses in this dish is sensational!

Ingredients

  • For the poussin casserole
  • 2 poussins
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp citrus herb salt
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 small red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 500ml (18fl oz/2 cups) chicken stock
  • 200ml (7fl oz/generous ¾ cup) single (light) cream
  • 100ml (3½fl oz/scant ½ cup) white wine
  • 2 tbsp chopped tarragon
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 3 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick slices
  • For the cucumber salad
  • 1 whole round (butterhead) lettuce
  • 1 cucumber
  • 12 baby pickled onions
  • For the dressing
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp grainy mustard
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp pink Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 2 tbsp single (light) cream

Method

Serves 4
Preheat the oven to 250°C/480°F/gas mark 9.
Put the poussins into a large roasting tin (pan), drizzle with half the olive oil (2 tbsp) and sprinkle over the citrus herb salt. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large, heavy-based lidded casserole pot, melt the butter with the rest of the olive oil. Gently fry the onion until soft, then sieve the flour over the onion, mix well and add the stock. Bring the stock to boiling point, then turn down the heat and add the cream, white wine, tarragon, mustard and salt, and stir well.
Remove the poussins from the oven and carefully lower them into the sauce in the casserole pot. Add the carrot, place the lid back on and simmer on the hob (stovetop) for 45 minutes, turning the poussins a couple of times.
Chop the lettuce into pieces and place in a salad bowl. Using a potato peeler, peel the cucumber lengthways to make long, thin strips, then add to the salad along with the baby pickled onions.
Make the dressing by shaking all the dressing ingredients together in a screwtop jar. Carve the poussins, drizzle the salad dressing over the cucumber salad and serve both straight away.