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The Hirshon Georgian Cornish Game Hen with Garlic Sauce – ტაბაკა

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 2 whole Cornish Game Hens, 8 oz each
  • salt to taste
  • Very generous pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • Generous pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 3 tbsp of coriander seeds, ground to powder in a spice grinder
  • 1 tsp of freshly ground cumin powder
  • 10 tbsp of butter
  • A few blackberries and sprigs of dill for garnish (optional)
  • Niortskali (Georgian garlic and cilantro sauce)
  • Chicken stock — 1 1/2 cups
  • Garlic, minced — 6 to 8 cloves
  • Paprika — 1 1/2 teaspoons
  • Salt — to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Cilantro, finely chopped — 1/2 bunch


  1. Wash the hens thoroughly. Towel dry and with a paring knife, make a small slit at the lower edge of each breast half and then flatten bird gently with a meat tenderizer/hammer. Push tips of the drumsticks down through slits, one on each side, so knobby ends of drumsticks protrude on hen’s underside. Make similar slits on upper edge of each breast half. Push wingtips through to other side. Flatten hen once more. Repeat with remaining hen.
  2. Rub hens with crushed garlic. Salt hens liberally. Grind coriander seeds, mix it with cayenne, cumin and black pepper. Thoroughly rub the hen with spice mixture from both sides.
  3. Heat a 12-inch skillet, preferably cast iron. Add 5 tablespoons of butter to skillet. When butter melts, place the 2 hens in the skillet, turning them to coat both sides with butter. Cook hens skin-side up over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, then turn skin-side down.
  4. Place a plate or another, slightly smaller skillet over each pair of hens. Weight it down with a heavy can or a bowl filled with water. Cook hens over medium heat until skin is brown and slightly crusty, 18-20 minutes. Turn birds, baste with the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter, replace the weight and cook 5 more minutes.
  5. Remove hens, plate them and garnish with blackberries and dill. Pour garlic sauce over birds and serve.
  6. While hens are cooking, make the garlic sauce: Heat chicken broth in a small saucepan. With a mortar and pestle, mash garlic with salt into a creamy paste. Whisk garlic into chicken broth along with paprika and cayenne. Set aside. Just before serving, stir in cilantro.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes


  • Calories: 454.06 kcal
  • Sugar: 1.69 g
  • Sodium: 602.77 mg
  • Fat: 40.55 g
  • Saturated Fat: 21.29 g
  • Trans Fat: 1.16 g
  • Carbohydrates: 8.78 g
  • Fiber: 2.32 g
  • Protein: 15.76 g
  • Cholesterol: 148.89 mg