Russian Cuisine

Main dishes

  Tabaka - Flattened Chicken


2 ea Cornish hens
2 ea Garlic clove crushed
4 tb Butter melted
Salt to taste
Cayenne to taste

Pat hens dry & place it breast side up on a large cutting board. With a sharp knife, slice down the middle of the breastbone, to separate the rib cage. BE CAREFUL not to cut all the way through the hen! It should remain in 1 piece. Turn hens over & flatten it with a mallet. With a sharp knife make a small slit at lower edge of each breast 1/2 & push tips of the drumsticks through slits on each side so the knobby ends of the drumsticks protrude on the skin side. Make similar slits on upper edge of each breast half & push wing tips through. Each breast 1/2 should be covered by a drumstick & a wing. Flatten hens gently once more with meat mallet. Rub hens with crushed garlic, salt liberally, & dust with cayenne. Heat a large cast-iron skillet. Add butter. When butter is melted put hens in the pan, turning to coat both sides. Cook skin side up over med-high heat for 5 mins. then turn skin side down. Place a plate or another skillet over hens & weight it down with a heavy can or bowl filled with water. Cook hens over med-heat for 20 mins. until skin is brown & slightly crusty. Turn, replace weight & cook 5 mins. more. Serve with Tkemali Sauce.

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