Shkmeruli – Georgian Chicken Cooked in Milk and Garlic
Shkmeruli is a traditional Georgian dish made with fried chicken slowly simmered in a flavorful mixture of milk and garlic until it fully soaks all those beautiful flavors. It’s delicate, tender, and hearty. Also, it’s one of those dishes that are very easy to master even if you don’t have a lot of cooking experience. It’s a one-pot meal and requires very few ingredients. You probably already have them in your fridge. The only thing you might need to order is this Georgian spice blend – Khmeli Suneli. You can totally make the dish without it, but with a small pinch of Khmeli Suneli your Shkmeruli chicken will taste 100% authentic.
My Shkmeruli Tips and Tricks
Bring your chicken to room temperature. It’s essential to never cook any meat, poultry, or fish right out of the fridge. To ensure the even cooking always bring your meat to room temperature. This way, you’ll always have consistent and delicious results.
My not-so-secret flour blend for extra crispy skin. Traditionally Shkmeruli chicken is fried without any flour. But I found than with a (50/50) mix of all-purpose and white rice flour you get a crispier, more beautiful skin. Plus it helps thinking the sauce, making it extra rich and creamy.
Serving. Shkmeruli is always an incredible treat for me and I don’t mess with my favorite meals, lol. That’s why I pay a lot of attention to what I serve alongside. I tried dozens of different sides, but for me, nothing beats buttery mashed potato and simple veggies salad with walnut dressing, which is also very traditional in Georgia.
If you like this recipe you should definitely check out these other chicken recipes one from Georgia and one from Morocco: One-Pot Moroccan Style Chicken and Satsivi – Chicken in Creamy Walnut Garlic Sauce. Cook, eat, enjoy!
- 2 pounds chicken, skin on chicken breast, legs and thighs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 tablespoons clarified butter or ghee
- 1/4 cup all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup rice flour, can be substituted with all-purpose flour
- 5 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk
- 1 teaspoon Khmeli Suneli spice blend, optional
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Pat dry the chicken pieces and generously season with salt.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of clarifyed butter in a medium-large heavy-bottomed pan or deep skillet. Cast iron or dutch oven works best for this. Heat the clarified butter until shimmering.
- Mix the rice and all-purpose flour in a shallow bowl. Dredge the chicken pieces in flour and transfer to the hot skillet. Fry on both sides until the skin is golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes per side. When the first batch is done, remove from the pan and continue with the rest of the chicken.
- When all the pieces and fried, wipe the pan clean and melt the remaining 1 tablespoon of clarified butter. Add garlic and cook stirring for 20 seconds. Pour in the milk and bring to simmer, mix in the Khmeli Suneli spice mix, if using. Lover the heat to medium-low and add the fried chicken pieces. Simmer for 25 minutes until the chicken is tender and cooked through. If needed, season with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
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