Olia Hercules’ garlicky Georgian poussins

Olia Hercules’ garlicky Georgian poussins
  • Serves icon Serves 2
  • Time icon Hands-on time 5 min, simmering time 30-35 min

Olia Hercules’ garlicky poussin recipe smells so good as it’s cooking that you think the flavour couldn’t live up to expectations. In fact, it exceeds them.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
536kcals
Fat
32.7g (14.4g saturated)
Protein
58.4g
Carbohydrates
2.3g (0.3g sugars)
Fibre
1.1g
Salt
0.5g
Calories
536kcals
Fat
32.7g (14.4g saturated)
Protein
58.4g
Carbohydrates
2.3g (0.3g sugars)
Fibre
1.1g
Salt
0.5g

Ingredients

  • 2 free-range poussins
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely grated
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill

Method

  1. Spatchcock each poussin by cutting it along the backbone (just to one side) with a knife or kitchen scissors. Open out the birds, then flatten with the palm of your hand. Rub the skin with grated garlic, then 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 skin-side down for 5 minutes.
  3. Lower the heat and put a cartouche (circle of baking paper, cut to fit the pan) over the birds, then a smaller frying pan on top. Weigh it down with something heavy (see tip).
  4. Cook for 20-25 minutes over the lowest possible heat. To test if the poussins are cooked, pull at the legs – they should start to 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, season to taste and cook for 1-2 minutes more (see tip). 
  6. Serve the poussins drizzled with the herby juices. Mop up the juices with some good bread.

A recipe from Mamushka by Olia Hercules (£25; Mitchell Beazley).

delicious. tips

  1. If the butter burns in the pan when cooking the chicken, melt a little fresh butter in a clean pan, then stir in the herbs before drizzling over the cooked poussins.

  2. The poussins are best served straightaway, but you could prepare them up to 48 hours in advance, keep them in a sealed container in the fridge, then serve cold in a salad.

  3. Traditionally, the young spatchcocked chickens are cooked on special skillets, weighted down with a brick. A couple of cans should also do the job.

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