I ordered four baby chickens (poussin) for backup in case we had extra guests at Thanksgiving. Instead, the poussin came in handy two nights later when the Briggs family asked us to play paddle tennis. I stayed home to read my new book, Dan Barber’s The Third Plate. I also prepared dinner. This recipe made enough to serve eight with a roasting window of two hours. I roasted the birds on the rotisserie in our fireplace. They had a nice smoky finish. But it also would have been just fine to roast them in the oven at 325° F for 1 ½ to 2-hours.
To prepare the meal, start first with a medium butternut squash and peel the skin. Then dice the flesh into cubes about the size of the end of your thumb. Place them in a roasting pan and add 3 chopped shallots, a ½-cup of white wine and a ½-pound of fresh pork sausage from the butcher. I also added 2-tablespoons of fresh chopped rosemary (sage would a nice herb, too). Season the pan with salt and pepper and then place it in a hot oven for about 20 minutes. Once the squash begins to soften and the sausage begins to cook, remove the pan from the oven. Proceed to stuff the poussin. Finally, season the bird’s skin with sea salt.
Return the stuffed birds to the oven and roast for 2 hours at 325° F. About halfway through, I added another sheet pan of sliced potatoes accompanied by shallots, more sausage and a few tablespoons of butter with a ½-cup of water. Season the potatoes with sea salt and ground pepper and place them in the oven. Flip the potatoes after half an hour. Once the chickens are removed from the oven, you can turn up the oven to 450° F to brown the potatoes for another 10 minutes.
Serve with the baby chickens cut in half and the roasted potatoes on the side with a salad.
Butternut squash and pork sausage stuffed-poussin (serves 8)
1 medium butternut squash
6 shallots, peeled & chopped
1-lb fresh pork sausage
2-tbsp chopped sage or rosemary (fresh)
4 large baking potatoes, peeled, sliced at 2 inches thick and rinsed
½-cup white wine