How to Cook Poussin en Cocotte

by Jessica Valenzuela

This how to guide will (hopefully) inspire you to make a popular spring French dish, Poussin En Cocotte. My version is slow cooked in a Dutch oven with mustard, lemon and rosemary sprigs.


  • 2 Cornish hens (20 lbs each)
  • 2 Cups Yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 Cups Carrots (diced)
  • 2 Cups Celery stalks (diced)
  • 4 Garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons Fresh rosemary (leaves only) (finely chopped)
  • 1 Cup Lemon
  • 1 Shallot
  • 6 fresh Rosemary sprigs
  • 6 Italian parseley sprigs
  • 2 Red potatoes (peeled and halved)
  • 4 Tablespoons Nice olive oil (first press)
  • 4 Teaspoons Salt de mer
  • 3 Teaspoons Freshly ground pepper
  • ½ Cups Mustard
  • 1 Cup Chicken stock
  • ½ Cups Dry white wine
  • 1 Dutch oven (large)
  • Instructions

    Step 1

    Prepare all your supplies. I like organizing them in prep plates or bowls so it is easy to grab what you need when you are ready for it.

    Step 2

    Wash the cornish hens well. Pat dry then massage generously with olive oil, drizzle with salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside in a dish.

    Step 3

    To prepare the cornish hen stuffing slice lemon in two halves, quarter one of the halves then stuff the cornish hen, quarter the shallots and add it to stuffing including with the rosemary.

    Step 4

    Fire up the stove, place cocotte over medium heat then add 3 Tbs of olive oil. When the oil is warm enough brown the cornish hens evenly (10 minutes) then set aside. Pre-heat the oven at 375 degrees

    Step 5

    In a bowl, prepare your mustard mixture. Mix mustard with juice from half of the lemon, add salt and pepper to taste.

    Step 6

    Using the same cocotte add 1-2 Tbs of olive oil then sauté onions, carrots and celery. When onions are light and shimmery add garlic, potatoes, chicken stock and mustard mixture. Simmer for 5-10 mins.

    Step 7

    Add the cornish hens back to the cocotte. Cover and place in pre-heated oven for 2 hours. Make sure to check your meat temperature while basting the chickens once or twice to keep it moist.

    Step 8

    Plate and garnish with parsley.

    Step 9

    Enjoy and serve with your favorite wine. Bon appetite!