Garlicky Georgian poussins

11:30 am on 12 February 2018
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This is the most popular Georgian dish outside Georgia. The young spatchcocked chickens were traditionally cooked on special tapa skillets, weighted down with a brick.

In Hungary they call it ‘iron chicken’.


Serves 2

2 poussins

4 garlic cloves, finely grated

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

40g (1½oz) butter

1 tablespoon sunflower oil

½ tablespoon chopped tarragon

½ tablespoon chopped basil

½ tablespoon chopped parsley

½ tablespoon chopped dill

Sea salt flakes

To serve

Good bread




1.Spatchcock each poussin by cutting it along the backbone with a knife or scissors. Flatten them with the palm of your hand, then rub with the grated garlic and season generously all over with salt and the cayenne pepper.


2.Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-based skillet or frying pan. Cook the poussins, cut side down, over a medium heat for 3 minutes, then flip them over and cook them skin side down for 5 minutes.


3. Lower the heat and place a cartouche (a circle of baking parchment or greaseproof paper) over the birds, followed by a smaller frying pan on top. Weight it all down with something heavy.


4.Cook for 20–25 minutes over the lowest possible heat. To test that the poussins are cooked, pull away at the legs – they should come away easily and the juices should run clear.


5.When the birds are done, lift them out and rest on a chopping board for 5 minutes. Add the herbs to the buttery juices and cook for another minute or two.


6.Serve the poussins drizzled with the herby juices, or mop the juices up with some good bread, along with the Tkhemali.


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