‘Tis the Season: Chef Elana’s Rosemary Poussin with Glazed Pears

Pair rosemary poussin with glazed pears and nutty Israeli couscous to create a truly memorable meal.

The holidays might generally not be a great time to experiment with unfamiliar ingredients, but if you’ve never cooked poussin before, Chef Elana’s Rosemary Poussin recipe will make it worth going out of your comfort zone. A poussin is a young chicken. Since it’s small and tender, it roasts more quickly than a regular one—making it the perfect serving size for two. Here, it’s paired with glazed pears and nutty Israeli couscous. It’s a perfect meal to warm up a cold evening.

When you’re cutting your poussin, don’t forget the “oysters”—the small pockets of tasty dark meat in the back where the thigh bone connects to the body. It’s arguably one of the best parts of the poussin and as the chef, it’s your payment for cooking!

1 sprig rosemary
3 sprigs thyme
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 poussin
1 yellow onion
1 lemon, divided
2 Bosc pears
1⁄2 cup white wine
1⁄8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 cup Israeli couscous
2 containers chicken stock
2 cups baby spinach

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1⁄2 cups water
kosher salt
black pepper
baking sheet
2 8″ medium pots

1. Make Herb Butter
Preheat oven to 425°F. Mince rosemary leaves, discarding stems. Strip thyme leaves, discarding stems. Mince garlic. In a small bowl, mash together 1 tablespooon butter, rosemary, thyme, and garlic. Season with 1⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper.

2. Start Poussin
Rinse poussin and pat dry with paper towel. Remove and discard giblet bag. Using your fingers, gently separate skin from flesh, rub herb butter evenly in between, then replace skin. Season all over with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon olive oil and place breast- side down on a baking sheet. Transfer to oven and roast until almost cooked through, about 20 minutes.

3. Roast Poussin and Onion
Peel onion, halve, and cut into 1⁄4-inch slices. After about 20 minutes of roasting, remove poussin from oven. Remove from baking sheet and set aside. Add onion to baking sheet and season all over with 1⁄2 teaspoon kosher salt, then top with poussin, breast-side up. Transfer to oven and roast together until poussin is cooked through and juices run clear, 20–25 minutes more. Remove and set aside to rest for 5–10 minutes.

4. Cook Pears
While poussin and onion roast, halve lemon. Peel pears and cut into 8 wedges, discarding cores. Place in a medium pot over high heat. Add white wine, as much crushed red pepper as desired, juice of 1⁄2 lemon, and 1⁄2 cup water. Bring to a boil. Break remaining butter into small pieces. Dot over pears. Reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring, until tender, about 20 minutes. Remove pot from heat. Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed.

5. Cook Couscous
While pears cook, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a separate medium pot over medium heat. When oil is shimmering, add couscous and toast, stirring, 1–2 minutes. Stir in chicken stock and 1 cup water. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 7–8 minutes. Rinse spinach, add to pot, and cook until wilted, about 1 minute more. Remove pot from heat. Taste and add salt and black pepper as needed.

6. Plate Poussin
Place poussin back-side up on a cutting board. Using kitchen scissors or a large knife, cut along each side of backbone and discard (see Recipe Tip). Halve through breastplate. Serve with roasted onion on top. Enjoy with glazed pears and couscous alongside for maximum deliciousness. Use remaining lemon to brighten a glass of water.

For more holiday favorites, don’t forget to check out the recipes for chocolate bark, cheese-walnut puffs, and a charred orange old-fashioned.

in Nourish


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