Name Baby Chickens Stuffed with Goats' Cheese


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* 4 poussins
* 175 g (6 oz) soft goats' cheese, e.g. Chevre, Boucheron
* 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
* 3 thin slices cured ham, finely chopped
* 1 lemon, cut into 8 wedges
* salt and pepper

* 200 ml (1/3 pint) olive oil
* finely grated rind of 1 lemon
* 1 tablespoon chopped basil

1. Rub the poussins both inside and out with some salt and pepper. Carefully slip your fingers between the skin and flesh of each poussin, starting at the neck end, and gently ease the fingers along the length of the breast bone and down.
2. Mix the goats' cheese with the thyme, ham and salt and pepper to taste. Ease some of the cheese mixture evenly between the skin and flesh of each poussin, Stuff the body cavity of each poussin with 2 lemon wedges.
3. To make the marinade, mix the olive oil with the lemon rind, basil and salt and pepper to taste. Put the pousslns in a shallow dish and then spoon the marinade over the top of them. Cover with some clingfilm and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
4. Remove the poussins from their marinade and drain, reserving the marinade. Cook them, breast side down, on the lightly oiled grid of a preheated barbecue for 10 minutes, then turn the birds over and cook for another 15-20 minutes.
5. Brush the poussins with the marinade from time to time during cooking. Test with a fine skewer to see if they are cooked through - if you insert it into the thickest part of the thigh, the juices should run clear. The poussins may take a little longer than stated, depending on their size. Serve immediately with a crisp green salad.

Serves: 4

Variation: Instead of goats' cheese, you could try using a very smooth pate in the stuffing for the poussins.

Note: If you don't like the flavour of goats' cheese, you could use any soft, creamy cheese instead or even one flavoured with chopped herbs or garlic.

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