Roast Coquelet with Fig and Cranberry Stuffing


Have you tried a coquelet? Quite possibly. It’s simply another term for ‘poussin’ – or young chicken to ordinary folks like us.  They’re widely available but I sourced these from Bob the Butcher in Primrose Hill and then had them cold-smoked by chef Asher at The Stag pub nearby.

The chickens are brined first and then smoked – the smoking isn’t essential, but it added a hint of the barbecue – a lovely antidote to a freezing cold February day.

The stuffing and salad, though, are all mine. Mine. ALL MINE. Whoahahahaha!

Anyway…smoking aside, this dish is a doddle to make and is fantastic to showcase at a dinner party.

Serves 2

2 coquelets (or poussins, whatever you want to call them)


For the brine

1kg                        Water
75g                        Salt
75g                        Sugar
2                        Bay leaves
2                        cloves|
½                         Stick of cinnamon
1                        Garlic cloves, smashed
25g                        Fennel seeds
2                        Pieces of orange peel

For the stuffing

50g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
100g semi-dried cranberries, finely chopped
100g semi-dried figs, finely chopped
2-4 fresh sage leaves
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
100g fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the salad

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into chunks
1 bag rocket

For the dressing

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Juice of 1/2 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp light soy sauce



1. First brine the coquelets. Mix all the brining ingredients in a large saucepan, bring to the boil, then allow to go completely cold. Immerse the chickens and leave for at lest 6 hours.

2. Make the stuffing by melting the butter in a large frying pan, then add the onion and gently cook for around 10 minutes until very soft. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.


3. Add the cranberries and figs and continue to cook for a further 7-8 min until soft, then stir through the sage.


4. Add the breadcrumbs and stir through, make sure they absorb all the butter. Mix thoroughly and transfer to a non-metallic bowl.


5. With a large spoon, transfer half of the mixture into the cavity of each coquelet and press down to pack tightly.


6. Pre-heat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Remove the coquelets from the brine and pat dry with kitchen towel. Drizzle with olive oil and season the skin with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook in the oven for around 50 minutes until the skin is crispy and the juices run clear when a skewer is pushed into the thickest part of the thigh. Transfer to a warm plate and allow to rest for 10-15 minutes.



7. Meanwhile, make the salad.  Scatter the sweet potato chunks onto an oiled baking sheet and bake in the oven for around 20 minutes until they become tender.  Once cooked, toss together with the rocket leaves.

8. Make a dressing by mixing together the garlic, lemon juice, oil and soy sauce in a bowl. Drizzle over the salad.

9. Serve the coquelets whole on top of the dressed salad.






Filed under Poultry, Recipe Shed

2 Responses to Roast Coquelet with Fig and Cranberry Stuffing

  1. Found this after searching for poussin recipes. I’m a North Londoner too. Brining is not something I do, but probably should. How much difference does it make to the bird. Have you ever A/B tested?

    BTW I cook my poussin at 220°C for just 34 minutes. Gives me a deep golden crispy skin and a very moist but completely cooked interior. I normally stuff with garlic, onion, thyme and lemon.

    Here’s my stuff:


    • keithkendrick

      Hi Jason,
      To be honest, brining isn’t essential, but the chef at my local pub swears by it and it does add flavour to the meat. I have had a couple of disasters, though, by adding too much salt to the brine and the result has been inedible. Trial and error! (I’ve never heard of A/B testing. What’s that? Something to do with bacteria? I’ve never had food poisoning – fingers crossed!)
      I’m heading over to look at your site now. Thanks for stopping by.