CHICKEN TABAKA (Flattened fried chicken)
Chicken Tabaka is a famous dish of two Caucasus neighbors Georgian and Azerbaijani.
The meaning of the word “Tabaka”, from Georgian “tapha” and from Azeri “tava”, is “heavy frying skillet”. The difference between Georgian Tabaka and Azerbaijani Tabaka is the spice seasoning.
Tabaka usually made of a small Cornish Hen, the smaller your chicken, the juicer and better Tabaka will be cooked.
1 Cornish Hen or small chicken
2 tbsp butter
Salt, pepper and garlic to taste
1. Defrost the chicken/hen if frozen. Rinse and pat it dry very thoroughly with paper towels, making sure to absorb any liquid behind the wings and legs. Blot inside the body cavity too, getting the chicken/hen as dry as you can, inside and out.
2. Place it breast side up and with a sharp knife, or using a kitchen scissors, slice down the middle of the breastbone, to separate the rib cage. Be careful not to cut all the way through the chicken/hen, it should remain in one piece. Then turn it over and flatten it with a meat pounder.
3. Mix the crushed garlic with salt and black pepper and rub the both sides of the chicken/hen with this mixture. Garlic is optional, you can season your chicken with salt and pepper only.
4. Heat the skillet on medium-high heat, make sure your skillet is large enough to fit the flattened chicken. Add butter and place the hen on the skillet skin side up.
5. Place a plate over the hen, weight it down with a heavy object, and fry for 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
6. Then remove the heavy object and the plate, and turn the chicken/hen skin side down.
7. Place the plate back over the chicken/hen, weight it down, and fry for another 15 minutes over medium heat, until the skin is golden-brown and crusty.
The main idea of this dish is to give the chicken/hen enough press to keep it flatten.
8. Turn of the heat, remove the press and the plate from the chicken/hen and let it rest for a few minutes on the skillet.
Serve Tabaka with any side dish.
Bon Appétit! Enjoy!
This post is also available in: Russian