I have to admit I’m a bit of a TK MAXX addict, I find it great for the princess’ clothes and housewares – especially their pans, they do a really good range of Italian pans which we buy for La Cucina believe it or not. They’re much cheaper than the Tefal. The one in Limerick is so busy they are building another one, just for furniture and housewares. The odd time I pick up a cookbook for La Cucina  for customers to read while waiting for their food, the latest one being Aldo Zilli’s Simple Italian Cooking. He’s not as popular as the other big names but I decided to buy it as it looked good visually and it was only €5.99 and I have to say it was the best €6 I’ve spent in a long time.

Compared to other books it’s not very fancy but his selection of recipes are so simple and uncomplicated and would suit anyone who has an interest in Italian food but doesn’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. He has step by step photos and easy to follow instructions and I think I will probably cook the majority of recipes which is a rare thing for a cookbook. I just don’t have time to be cooking complicated food and to be honest I don’t have a big interest in it, we prefer simple flavours anyway so that’s why his recipes appeal to me so much.

I’ve never cooked Poussin before and I’ve seen it a few times in Superquinn so I was interested to try it out and it was absolutely delicious. You can just use regular chicken pieces if you prefer, it would have the same result.


  • 2 Poussin
  • 2 red chillies seeded and chopped
  • leaves from 1 sprig rosemary finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 4 tbls extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 plum tomatoes halved, seeded, and roughly chopped
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • sea salt and black pepper


 – preheat the oven to 220 degrees.

 – remove and discard the elastic holding each Poussin together, then turn the Poussin over so it’s breast side down. Cut along one side of the backbone with a pair of strong scissors to open out the bird.

 – Cut along the other side if the backbone and remove it. Open out the bird, turn it breast side up and press down with the palm of your hand to flatten it. This process is known as spatchcocking. Wash the birds and pat them dry on kitchen paper.

 – Chop your garlic, chilli and rosemary together very finely.

 – Season your birds with salt and pepper and rub your chilli mixture all over the birds.

 – Heat your olive oil in a roasting tin on your hob and then add the Poussin skin side down and cook for about 5-10 mins until the skin is golden brown and crisp. Turn over and repeat.

 – Sprinkle the tomatoes over the birds and add the wine. Bring to the boil, then transfer the roasting tin to the oven and cook for about 40 mins until the birds are crisp.

 – Serve the birds whole with patate arrosto or a simple rocket salad with parmesan.