When Americans see the word “Georgian”, they automatically assume it refers to the great state of Georgia. There is, however, another Georgia – one of the world’s most ancient countries in fact!
Located in the Caucasus mountains near Armenia, the country of Georgia is home to a noble people with a history stretching back tens of thousands of years. The people there live to be more than 110 on a regular basis, and invented winemaking, weaving, and many other crafts eventually re-discovered elsewhere in the world thousands of years later.
Their cuisine is unique, incorporating a multitude of herbs, garlic, berries, nuts and spices that makes for some of the most delicious and healthful recipes on the planet.
I have a life mission to expose their amazing cuisine to the world, and this is the first of many Georgian recipes you will discover here on TFD.
For the first recipe – one of my favorites! Cooked in a skillet or on the grill, chicken tabaka (Georgian: ტაბაკა) is an excellent way to cook a whole chicken quickly. The meat turns out juicy and flavorful and the skin is incredibly crisp and delicious. Served with the Georgian garlic and cilantro sauce called Niortskali, you have a match truly made in heaven!
Chicken Tabaka is traditionally made with Cornish Game Hens – by splitting the hen along the breast, one can flatten the whole bird for quick, even cooking. A brick or other heavy object is then placed on top of the hen, which speeds the cooking and gives that amazing skin.
FYI – the word “tabaka” does not mean “tobacco.” It is derived from the Georgian word “tapha”, a type of skillet in which chicken tabaka is usually cooked. We will instead use a large cast-iron skillet.
გემრიელად მიირთვით! (gemrielad miirthvith) – Bon Appetit, Citizens!
Battle on – The Generalissimo