Citizens, few recipe postings bring greater delight to your all-knowing Dictator of culinary nirvana than those from the magnificent country of Georgia! There is perhaps no greater cuisine on the planet as healthful, delicious and varied as those from this cradle of humanity (Georgian history goes back tens of thousands of years!).
This recipe helps to epitomize Summer for me, with its reliance on the finest and freshest tomatoes – think of it as chicken fricassée raised to a whole new level of flavor and you wouldn’t be far off! I call this recipe “poultry” as opposed to “chicken” because I prefer to use game such as duck or pheasant in it, as the original version was made!
As noted on the excellent food blog eatwithpleasure.com:
Chakhokhbili is a lot easier to make than it is to pronounce. (The “kh” sounds like the “h” in a Russian-accented “hello,” or the “ch” in the German “ich.”) While you can certainly find this dish on restaurant menus in Georgia, it is equally likely to show up on weeknight dinner tables at home because it comes together quickly and is the kind of thing you can make a big batch of and then easily reheat the leftovers for another meal (or two or three, if there’s only one of you).
The dish’s name comes from the Georgian word for pheasant (khokhobi), and if you happen to have a pheasant on hand, you can substitute it for the chicken in the recipe. You could also use turkey, duck, or Cornish game hen. In Georgia today, chicken is the most common bird used for this recipe.
My Georgian host mother Shushana used to serve chakhokhbili with the slightly salty, pully bread she’d pick up at the bakery across the street from our apartment building.
My version uses TFD’s preferred herb set for this recipe, plus a bit of clarified butter mixed with grapeseed oil to really allow high-temperature browning with buttery flavor and savor! If at all possible, try and use real Georgian garlic for this and all Georgian recipes – my favorite varietal can be bought here and elsewhere if you search by Google. Try one of the other hundreds of Georgian garlic varietals if mine is unavailable – they are ALL exceptional!
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