Juicy Georgian-style Chicken Tabaka
Pan-fried Chicken Tabaka (Tapaka) was the first Georgian dish I’ve ever tried. My mom made it for dinner one evening and I still remember its the wonderfully crispy skin and delicate juicy meat. She toppet the chicken with a flavorful mixture of lemon juice, minced garlic, and fresh tarragon, which was something I’ve never tasted before. This bright and tangy dressing added an instant burst of flavor and transformed a simple chicken into an exciting new meal. It might not be the most authentic version of Georgian Chicken Tabaka, but that exact meal made me fall in love with Georgian cuisine. I guess some food memories are so important they meant to stay with you for the lifetime.
Chicken Tabaka is a very rustic dish and doesn’t require any fancy sides. Here are a few beautiful vegetarian side dishes you might want to serve with this chicken: Simple Smashed Potato with Zesty Tarragon Dressing, Pan-Fried Zucchini with Yogurt Dressing, Georgian-style Vegetable Salad With Walnut Dressing. These dishes will be enough to throw a cozy Supra feast for your friends and family. I would also suggest serving some aromatic Georgian Qvevri wine with this meal. Natural Orange wine will help balance the richness of the food, but will not overpower it.
If you want to learn more about Georgian cuisine and cooking, you can start by making world-famous Adjarian Khachapuri. Join one of my Virtual Cooking Classes and together we’ll create a culinary masterpiece filled with bubbly cheese, butter, and rich egg yolk.
- 1/2 chicken - 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, backbone removed
- 2 teaspoons - kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder large zip
- 1 small lemon, sliced
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 3 cloves garlic, unpeeled and smashed
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- small bunch tarragon, optional
- cherry tomatoes on the vine, optional
- Rub the chicken with the salt and chili powder. Place in a large ziplock bag and drizzle with lemon juice. Close the bag and let the chicken marinate at room temperature for 45 minutes or refrigerate overnight.
- Coat 12-inch skillet with oil and heat over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Pat-dry the chicken with a paper towel until it's completely dry. Place the chicken on a skillet skin side down, cover it with a piece of parchment paper, and place a cast-iron pan or a heavy pot on top.
- Cook the chicken for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until its skin is crispy and golden brown. Then remove the weight and carefully flip the chicken on the other side. Add the crushed garlic, thyme, and lemon slices. Top the chicken with the weight and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. When the chicken is beautifully browned on both sides, remove the weight. If you're using cherry tomatoes, place them on a skillet near the chicken and transfer everything into the oven. Roast the chicken for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in a thigh reads 165 degrees F.Remove the chicken from the oven and top with roughly chopped tarragon and freshly ground black pepper. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and top with roughly chopped tarragon and freshly ground black pepper. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
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