Georgian Crispy Chicken Tabaka

Georgian Crispy Chicken Tabaka | All that's Jas

Looking for a new roasted chicken recipe? You will love this simple chicken tabaka, Georgian (formerly of the Soviet Union) national dish of pan-fried whole chicken because it’s a fantastic way to cook a whole chicken quickly. Best of all, it has a great flavor and a crispy golden skin.

This finger-licking-good chicken tabaka is a Georgian national dish that yields juicy meat and a crispy skin. It is pan-fried whole, using a press down method.

What is Tabaka

 

Tabaka is traditionally pressed down with heavy bricks and either grilled over hot coals or pan-fried in tapha, a heavy cast iron skillet, but if you don’t have bricks just laying around (does anybody?), use anything heavy to weigh the chicken down. A pot full of water, a plate with cans of food, a rock….anything goes. The chicken is cooked quickly to sear and crisp the skin but ensures the meat is tender and juicy inside.

 

ingredients for tabaka chicken

cooking of tabaka chicken

 

The smaller the chicken the better the dish. I don’t question the science, I just obey.  You can use Cornish hens, or chicken legs unless you have a gigantic pan to fit a bigger bird. Georgian way of serving the tabaka chicken is with a generous dose of plum sauce called Tkemali and with rice. Flavored rice like djuvec rice or jollof rice would go great with the tabaka chicken.

 

This recipe is supposed to feed four people, but husband and I have a good appetite. Granted, we forgot all about the rice, although I cooked it. It may have been intentional, I won’t admit.

 

Tabaka is kind of chicken you eat with your hands, starting with the crispy skin, licking your fingers clean and leaving nothing behind but the bare bones. It’s the kind of chicken you want to hide from your husband so you can have it all to yourself, but you kind of like him and so you share.

 

As a matter of fact, tabaka is a great dish to share with people you like.

 

This post might contain some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

 

Pan-Fried Crispy Chicken Tabaka Recipe

Georgian #tabaka is a whole chicken quickly roasted in a pan that yields juicy meat and a crispy, golden skin. #chicken #dinner #recipe Click To Tweet

Georgian-style pan-fried chicken recipe

 

INGREDIENTS:
Serves 4

  • 1 small to medium chicken (or 2 Cornish hen or 4 chicken leg quarters)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 4 tablespoon oil, divided

 

~ Free Tip ~ 

Pound the chicken with a meat tenderizer to flatten it even more. 

 

ESSENTIALS

for Georgian Crispy Chicken Tabaka


 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. With a sharp knife, slice down the middle of the breastbone, to separate the rib cage (backbone should remain in one piece), then using strong kitchen shears cut the breastbone from the chicken. Open the chicken up like a book and press down on the backbone to flatten the carcass.
  2. Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Mix together the lemon juice and spices. Rub the lemon- spice mixture all over the chicken.
  3. Heat a large skillet with the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side up. Cover the chicken with a piece of parchment or wax paper. Place a heavy cast iron skillet or any type of skillet on top of the chicken and weigh it down with cans of food, bricks, rocks or anything heavy. (. (I placed a pot filled with water on my chicken and then set a cast iron skillet with a lid on top of the pot). ). Cook the chicken for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Remove the weight and carefully flip chicken skin side down; distribute crushed garlic cloves evenly around it. Fry for 15-20 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy brown. Discard the garlic cloves.
  5. Depending on the size of your chicken, keep turning and cooking the chicken for additional 10-15 minutes if necessary. The chicken is done when you pierce it into the thickest part and its juices run clear.
  6. Serve with Tkemali sauce and the side course of your choice.

 

crispy chicken tabaka

juicy chicken with crispy skin from Georgia

4.5 from 2 votes
Georgian Crispy Chicken Tabaka
Pan-Fried Crispy Chicken Tabaka
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr
 

This finger-licking-good chicken tabaka is a Georgian national dish that yields juicy meat and a crispy skin. It is pan-fried whole, using a press down method.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Georgian
Servings: 4
Author: Jas
Ingredients
  • 1 small to medium chicken or 2 Cornish hen or 4 chicken leg quarters
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet or smoked paprika
  • 6 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 4 tablespoon oil divided
Instructions
  1. Rinse and pat dry the chicken. With a sharp knife, slice down the middle of the breastbone, to separate the rib cage (backbone should remain in one piece), then using strong kitchen shears cut the breastbone from the chicken. Open the chicken up like a book and press down on the backbone to flatten the carcass.
  2. Rub the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Mix together the lemon juice and spices. Rub the lemon- spice mixture all over the chicken.
  3. Heat a large skillet with the remaining oil over medium-high heat. Place the chicken in the skillet, skin side up. Cover the chicken with a piece of parchment or wax paper (you can also use a heat-resistant plate). Place a heavy cast iron skillet or any type of skillet on top of the chicken and weigh it down with cans of food, bricks, rocks or anything heavy. (I placed a pot filled with water on my chicken and then set a cast iron skillet with a lid on top of the pot). Cook the chicken for 20-25 minutes.
  4. Remove the weight and carefully flip chicken skin side down; distribute crushed garlic cloves evenly around it. Fry for 15-20 minutes more or until the chicken is cooked through and the skin is crispy brown. Discard the garlic cloves.
  5. Depending on the size of your chicken, keep turning and cooking the chicken for additional 10-15 minutes if necessary. The chicken is done when you pierce it into the thickest part and its juices run clear.
  6. Serve with Tkemali sauce and the side course of your choice.
Recipe Notes

~ Free Tip ~

Pound the chicken with a meat tenderizer to flatten it even more.

 

Pin it now: Georgian Crispy Chicken Tabaka

Chicken tabaka is a Georgian national dish of a pan-fried whole chicken that is cooked quickly to sear and crisp the skin but ensures the meat is tender and juicy inside. | allthatsjas.com | dinner #chicken #glutenfree #georgian #tabaka #chickenunderabrick #panfried #crispy #recipeoftheweek #recipes #homemade #cooking #poultry #easyrecipe #roastedchicken

 

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Jas

publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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10 Comment

  1. Reply
    Antonia
    May 4, 2018 at 9:32 pm

    Great looking chicken! Thanks for sharing over at Fiesta Friday!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      May 4, 2018 at 10:13 pm

      Many thanks!

  2. Reply
    Mimi
    May 5, 2018 at 10:58 am

    Just gorgeous! I used to have a clay mattone that I loved cooking whole chickens in, because it had a weighted flat lid, but the bottom broke. I’d love to find one again because it was so handy. Love your recipe!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      May 6, 2018 at 5:09 pm

      Oh, that would be a perfect dish for this recipe. Hope you’ll be able to find a replacement 🙂 Thank you, Mimi!

  3. Reply
    Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook
    May 7, 2018 at 1:47 am

    I love that your recipe is so simple, Jas. This chicken looks so pretty – I am sure it’s so delicious. Now, I need to get myself a serving or two. 😀 Happy Fiesta Friday!

    1. Reply
      Jas
      May 7, 2018 at 11:30 am

      Jhuls, I didn’t have high expectations, however, this chicken recipe surprised me. I was afraid I’d have to finish baking in the oven, but it was perfectly cooked in the pan. Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Reply
    Donna @ Modern on Monticello
    May 7, 2018 at 4:05 pm

    I have never heard of this but you certainly make it look and sound yummy. Thanks for sharing at #HomeMattersParty

    1. Reply
      Jas
      May 9, 2018 at 8:10 am

      Thank you much, Donna!

  5. Reply
    Sandra L Garth
    May 9, 2018 at 7:45 pm

    It just so happens that hubby has some breaks behind the shed. This looks amazing and the more crispy skin the better!
    Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story and we hope you will join us again next week.

    1. Reply
      Jas
      May 9, 2018 at 10:30 pm

      Well, lucky you, Sandra! 😀 We have no bricks, just some large rocks that are too heavy anyway. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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