This is the perfect recipe if you want to impress someone by giving them a whole pot all to themselves. It's a baby chicken with caramelised onions, mushrooms and potatoes, served from a single pot and it looks amazing and tastes delicious. In this recipe I use a size 1/2 potie with a flat bottom. You could also use a similar-sized pladpotjie, which would arguably make browning the poussin easier but feels less cute.
1 punnet of slice mushrooms
2 large white onions cut in rings
3 cups of finely cubed potatoes
1 small sliced leek
1 chicken stock cube
Pepper to taste
Heat up the pot over coals or a fire, add some olive oil and when it sizzles put in the chicken. It should come tied, don't cut the string until you serve it.
Brown the chicken until parts of it are golden brown. This takes quite a bit of head on the pot and can be quite tricky when it comes to turning the chicken around inside the pot. You will need two wooden spoons and try not to use anything that will break the skin.
Once the chicken is browned, take it out and place it to the side, somewhere that can't be reached by feral creatures or evil-looking ants.
Add some more olive oil and caramelise the onion rings. I say this every time but do this step properly. It takes long and you have to be patient.
When your onions are done, add the chicken back to the pot. Using a wooden spoon, get some of the onions up and over the sides of the chicken and in the gap between the thigh and the leg.
Now press the mushrooms down the sides of the pot and pack them quite tight. It's a small pot so it won't look like you can fit them initially. Believe me you can.
Then, when its all looking neat and tidy, crush and spread the stock cube evenly over the chicken. Do not make the mistake of adding salt to this pot because there will be salt in the stock cube. I've forgotten that once and had to grovel for forgiveness as I throw away a great but too salty potijie and order Mr Delivery while the guests eye my meaty parts with a hungry look in their eye. Think Delicatessen. It's not cool.
Then, pack that thing tight by pressing the potato and leek mix into the remaining spaces and make it flash with the top of the pot.
Sprinkle a cup of water over the top.
Now close the pot and let it simmer gently for 1.5 hours.
When it comes out it will look beautiful. The colour of the onions will have come up through the potatoes and it will smell like something sent down from the heavens (not brimstone, which spells like fart).
Carefully take out the poussin and put it on the plate. This is the bit where you look like a hero. Born up a tree!