Chicken Tabaka

Name is from Georgian ‘tapha” – special heavy skillet with heavy (like bacon press) lid, but in Russia we said “tabaka”, similar to “tobaco”. Cooked young chickens (cornish hens) are very tasty, crunchy and juicy.

Chicken Tabaka

1-1/2 lb. whole Cornish hen
2-3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
salt and pepper
1-2 tbsp. butter, melted or olive oil

With a sharp knife, slice hen down the middle of the breastbone, to separate the rib cage. Turn the hen over and flatten it with a meat pounder. Rub the hen with crushed garlic, season with salt  and pepper.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet, add butter or oil, put hen in the pan skin side up,  cook over medium high heat for about 5 minutes, then turn skin side down.

Place another heavy skillet (or bacon press) over the hen. Cook the hen over medium heat for 20 minutes, until the skin is brown and slightly crusty. Turn, replace the weight, and cook 5-10 minutes more.

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