GEORGIAN SHKMERULI POUSSIN
Georgian cuisine is positively teaming with incredible dishes and delicious flavours. However, this dish was probably our favourite. Crisp-skinned, succulent chicken is finished with a milk and garlic sauce and served with some bread to mop up any of the sauce. It’s an incredibly simple dish but absolutely delicious.
Whilst travelling through Georgia we were served this with poussin a few times which feels like a lovely way to enjoy this dish for two. Or if you’re really hungry, an indulgent masterpiece for one.
We’ve spatch-cocked the poussin which both speeds up the cooking and ensures crispy skin. We’ve added garlic and onion powder to really up those allium flavours.
This has quickly become one of my favourite dishes.
8 Garlic Cloves, finely minced
400ml Whole Milk,
25g Butter, salted
1 tsp Garlic Powder,
1 tsp Onion Powder,
Pinch of Salt & Pepper
Chives and Dill, finely diced
PREPARING THE POUSSIN
- Take your poussin and sit it breast side down so the underside is face-up towards you. Take a sharp pair of scissors and cut down either side of the spine. You should now be able to easily flatten the poussin out so that the legs now sit flat in line with the breasts and the ‘knees’ of the poussin nearly touch.
- Season the poussin all over with the garlic powder, onion powder and salt and a little bit of pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF (fan oven).
- Place a frying pan over a medium-low heat with a splash of olive oil. Once the oil is hot, place the poussin skin side down in the pan. Lay some baking parchment over the poussin and then weigh down with something heavy. Leave undisturbed for 4-5 minutes until the skin is golden and crisp.
- Turn the poussin over and cook for a further 4 minutes.
- Remove the poussin and set aside on a plate. Wipe away any really dark fond and excess oil from the pan with kitchen paper – this will keep the sauce from gaining too much colour.
- Lower the heat and add the butter. Once melted add the minced garlic and fry off on a low heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the milk to the pan and increase the heat so that the milk is just barely starting to simmer. Leave the milk to slightly thicken and infuse for about 3 minutes.
- Add the poussin back to the pan, skin-side up, and then transfer to the oven for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven and garnish with some finely chopped chives and dill. Serve the shkmeruli garlic poussin immediately with some crusty bread.