Garlicky Georgian Poussins

Test Kitchen-Approved

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

Serves: 2


  • 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)
In This Recipe


  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.

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Reviews (2) Questions (0)

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.