“The ‘freshness’ in this comes via lemony peas and potatoes, a minted-yoghurt dressing, and cute poussin (spring chicken), which hits the spot without weighing you down. This suits those times when you’d rather be outside than in the kitchen – happily, everything sits within the same roasting tin, with no more exertion than remembering to put things in at the right time. So it’s a good one for a low-effort, high-reward meal with friends.” – Ed Smith
This is an edited extract from Crave by Ed Smith, published by Quadrille Books, and is available where all good books are sold.
Photography by Sam A Harris
Serves: 4 – 6
1 garlic bulb, cloves separated and peeled
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 lemons, zest finely grated then quartered
800g (1lb 12oz) baby potatoes
120g (4½oz) Greek yoghurt
Leaves picked from 4 sprigs mint, finely chopped
150g (5½oz) artichoke hearts, halved
400g (14oz) frozen peas
100ml (scant ½ cup) water
Flaky sea salt and ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F. Split the poussin in half down the middle along their back bones, using a heavy knife or sturdy pair of scissors.
Mince two of the garlic cloves. Then combine half of that with one tablespoon of the olive oil, all the lemon zest, and squeeze over the juice from one of the lemon quarters. Sprinkle the bird portions generously with salt and pepper then rub the flavoured oil all over. Set to one side.
Measure the rest of the oil into a 20 x 30cm (8 x 12in) baking or roasting tin. Add the potatoes and the remaining whole garlic cloves and roll everything around until glossy. Dot all but one of the remaining lemon wedges among the potatoes, then roast in the oven for 40 minutes until golden, shuffling after 20 minutes or so to ensure an even roast.
While waiting, combine the yoghurt, mint, the remaining minced garlic and juice from the last lemon quarter. Season to taste with salt and pepper then refrigerate.
Once the potatoes have had 40 minutes and are nicely tinged, remove the tray from the oven and use the back of a spoon to squash the lemon wedges to release their jammy juice. Squash any garlic cloves you see too, then pick out the lemons (which will add too much of a bitter edge if left in). Pop the artichokes and the still frozen peas onto and around the potatoes, add the water, then put the marinated poussin on top, breast side up.
Roast for 35 minutes, by which time the birds should be bronzed but still succulent, and everything below will be tender, with a gravy emerging from the peas and chicken juices. Once you’ve transferred the poussin to plates, give the contents of the tray a good stir before serving, then complete the scene with a hefty dollop of the minted yoghurt.