West African PoussainUser Submitted Recipe
Scrumptious itty-bitty chickens, that is
These itty bitty chickens are what my mother used to fry up on the stove back in the day, down south. Honestly, they’re soooooo tender, juicy and just not like those huge, white-breasted, tasteless factory farmed things that are sold in the stores today.
These are chicken like there used to be. Yeah. Back in the day.
I saw them in the Whole Foods ‘exotic’ meat freezer section, where you’ll find the elk and ostrich. They’re a bit pricey if you’re used to the factory farmed stuff. But, I bought three, which I cut into halves and there we have dinner for tomorrow night, too. You could easily substitute Cornish Game Hens for this dish. Their meat is a bit darker.
In the autumn, I crave roasted chicken, baked squash and that sort of thing. So, to go with the poussain, I cut up a small Butternut squash (into 1/2 inch slices) and a couple of asian pear apples, tossed them with Zambesi Forest Honey (rather like a very light molasses), a bit of African Palm/Canola Oil (sustainably grown), garlic, onion, salt and pepper. That got covered with foil and put into one of the convection ovens to bake until fork tender. We’re talking about 325 for about 60 minutes or so.
This West African Marinade is very versatile. We use it all the time, on pork, fish and chicken. So learn it and make it one of your standards."
Three poussain (smallest of the chickens)- cut in half. You may substitute cornish game hens.
For the West African marinade:
1/2 medium sweet onion, minced
4-5 large cloves of garlic, minced
3-4 tablespoons of freshly grated ginger root
1 tablespoon fresh orange zest, minced
3-4 whole bay leaves
1/4 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon sea salt
A dash chili powder ( chipotle, if you have it)
Ingredients for the sauce:
3 meaty chopped tomatoes, squeezed and drained.
2 cups orange juice with lots of pulp
1/4 cup of the reserved pureed marinade of onion/garlic/ginger
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1 tablespoon of poultry demi-glace
Salt and pepper to taste
Simmer the sauce ingredients over low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking or burning.
Halve the poussain (or game hens).
In a small food processor, puree the onion,garlic, ginger root,bay leaves, oil.
Liberally coat the birds with the puree, salt, and let them marinate for at least one hour in the refrigerator.
30 minutes before roasting, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the birds from the refrigerator and put them onto a wire baking rack on a foil covered baking sheet. Let them air dry until the oven is ready.
Roast for 45 minutes or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees. Remove from oven and cover with foil to rest about 10 minutes.