1 tablespoon olive oil
4 pieces pancetta (approx 40g), sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves
200g mascarpone
4 poussins
4 capsicums, mixed colours, cut into wedges
3 small/medium tomatoes, cut into quarters
½ cup olives
2 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
½ cup flat-leafed parsley
2 medium orange kūmara, approx 300g, peeled
1 x 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
¼ cup tahini
juice of 1 lemon
1 clove garlic, roughly chopped
olive oil

The advantage of a small bird is that there’s no argument of who is having the drum or breast, just plenty of meat and finger-licking goodness without much of a fuss. The pancetta and mascarpone provide richness and also help provide a sauce for the birds.


1.Preheat the oven to 200°C.
2.Heat a frying pan, add the oil and fry the pancetta and garlic until cooked, then add the thyme and cook for a minute.
3.Allow to cool then combine with the mascarpone. Season well with salt and pepper.
4.This can be done the day ahead.
5.Pat dry the poussins, season inside and put around 50g of the mascarpone mix in each cavity.
6.Tie the birds and put into a roasting dish.
7.Lightly oil the outside of the birds and season generously.
8.Put the capsicums, tomatoes, olives and capers around the birds, sprinkle the vegetables with the vinegar and season well.
9.Put into the oven and roast for 50-60 minutes, allowing the birds to rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
10.Scatter the parsley over the vegetables before serving.
11.If you prefer a thicker sauce, remove the birds and vegetables to a serving dish, make a roux (by melting a little butter in a pan, adding some flour and cooking for a minute), then add the liquid from the roasting dish and cook for 5-10 minutes until slightly thickened.
13.Cut the kūmara into 3cm wedges and bake, on a tray lined with baking paper, for 30 minutes or until tender.
14.While still warm, put into a food processor with the chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and garlic.
15.Add 1⁄2-1 cup warm water and blitz to a smooth but thick purée.
16.Season to taste and add enough olive oil to loosen.
18.Put a spoonful of hummus on each plate, top with a bird and the peperonata and drizzle over the pan juices.

Recipes & food styling Ginny Grant / Photography Aaron McLean / Styling Sara Black

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