I have made this Palestinian dish before using boneless thighs or bone-in chicken pieces; this is the first time I try it with cornish hens. The cornish hens lend themselves very well to this dish, because one hen will suffice per piece of (lavash or markouk) bread. As a result, each person will be presented with their little cornish hen encased in bread and onions.
Can’t find this bread? Use pita bread, the largest one possible.
- 1 Cornish hen per person (or per two people)
- one large onion per hen
- 3 Tablespoons of sumac per hen
- olive oil, as needed
- salt, to taste
- 1 1/2 teaspoon of seven-spice seasoning or a mixture of cinnamon and allspice and pepper
- 1 1/2 cup of chicken broth
- Rub the cornish hens with a cut lemon and sprinkle evenly with some seven-spice or a mixture of cinnamon and allspice, white or black pepper and salt.
- Heat some olive oil in a pot and brown the hens all over until golden-brown throughout. Add two cups of water to the pot and let the water cook the hens for 20 minutes and change into a broth.
- Slice the onion into rings and pan-fry in a skillet with some olive oil; when the slices are soft and start to caramelize, sprinkle with the sumac and a pinch of salt and remove from the heat.
- Lay a piece of lavash or markouk or pita bread on a greased pan. Place the hen in the middle and surround by the onions placing some onions on top of the hen. Fold the bread over till the hen is completely enclosed. You may need to start off with the bread on top of the hen and tuck the bread in to enclose the bird. Sprinkle the entire bread with about a cup or two of the broth. Place in a preheated 350F oven for about 20 minutes or until the bread is golden-brown. Serve.
NOTE: If you cannot find lavash or markouk bread, you can use a large pita bread instead, splitting it open and stuffing the bird inside.