Garlicky Georgian Poussins

June 30, 2015
2 Ratings
Photo by Kris Kirkham
  • Serves 2
Author Notes

This recipe comes from Mamushka (Hachette, 2015) by Olia Hercules (Hachette 2015) and was reprinted with permission from the publisher. —The Curious Pear

What You'll Need
  • 2 poussins
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • Flaky sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 40 grams (1 ounce) butter
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped dill
  • Good bread, for serving (optional)
  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 down with something heavy.
  4. Cook for 20 to 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 of the pan and rest them 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jessica Alexandra
    Jessica Alexandra
  • Kukla
Best friends Issy and Meg have spent the last decade sitting across tables from each other, travelling the world knife and fork in hand. Photographing bowls of steaming noodles, exotic street food and some of the world's most exciting cooks, Issy makes up the photography side of the duo, while Meg records each bite in words. Considering their equal obsession for food and each other, it was inevitable that the two would eventually combine to become The Curious Pear, intent on bringing you reviews, food features and interviews with the culinary crowd, as well as pieces on their favourite eating spots from around the world. The Curious Pear are the contributing Food Editors at SUITCASE Magazine, bringing you a weekly food column at, as well as contributing for Time Out, Food52, Life & Thyme, Trends on Trends, Guest of a Guest and more!

2 Reviews

Jessica A. February 3, 2018
Suggestions on how to adapt this a) for regular-sized chicken and b) for the oven?
Kukla July 8, 2015
This famous recipe is called in Russian “Ziplenok Tapaka”, in Ukrainian “Kurchа Tапак” and here in America when served in Georgian or Russian restaurants, is called “Chicken Tapaka”.
We always marinate the Chicks (Poussins) at list for a few hours, but the best overnight and they always come out so flavorful and tender, that you can eat them almost with the bones.