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Chicken tabaka with golden-brown skin on a black cast iron pan.

Chicken Tabaka

A famous Georgian dish Chicken Tabaka made by butterflying and pan-frying a whole chicken in butter.
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Georgian
Keyword chicken tabaka, chicken tapaka
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 516kcal
Author Victor


  • 1 whole chicken pick a small, younger chicken, about 2 lbs
  • 2 tsp kosher salt plus more to taste
  • 6 Tbsp butter clarified or regular
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro a mix of chopped and whole, for garnish

For the sauce

  • 5 tomatoes about 1 1/4 lbs
  • 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 red hot chili pepper cut in half, seeded, membrane removed
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro


  • Butterfly the chicken by cutting along the breast bone. Place the chicken skin side up on a on a large cutting board, cover with a piece of plastic and pound to flatten. Season with salt on both sides and set aside.
  • Heat the butter in a large cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Place the chicken skin side down on the skillet, weight it down with a heavy object, and fry for 20-25 minutes, until the skin is dark golden-brown. Flip and cook for another 20-25 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, bring water to a boil in a medium pot. Add the tomatoes and blanch for 1 minute then place in a bowl with cold water and let cool down for a minute. Drain the water and remove skins.
  • Place the skinned tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and pulse for 15 seconds. Transfer to a pot, bring to a boil, lower the temperature to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Salt to taste. Remove from heat and let cool down. The sauce can be prepared in advance and stored in a refrigerator.
  • Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and let rest for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro and serve with the tomato-walnut sauce. You may also garnish the chicken with whole cilantro twigs and slices of red hot chili peppers.


Calories: 516kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 1331mg | Potassium: 793mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1810IU | Vitamin C: 40.8mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2.5mg