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Georgian Chicken with Herbs (Chakhokhbili)

Chicken with Herbs

Tell me the truth now. When you read GEORGIAN, did you really think the state of Georgia?:) If so, I got you:) Because this post is about the country of Georgia, Azerbaijan’s immediate neighbor.  Azerbaijani town of  Balaken borders a town of Lagodekhi in Georgia. When I was a kid, my relatives who live in Balaken and I took a few trips down to Lagodekhi. My recollection of the town and  of its food in particular, is very limited as it was long ago but I remember the town itself as beautiful, green, clean and warm and I would love to visit there again, this time with the goal to go beyond Lagodekhi and see as much of Georgia as possible.

Georgian food is delicious. I know. I have sampled some of the country’s traditional dishes in Georgian restaurants in Baku. Plus, Azerbaijanis know and love Georgian cheese bread called khachapuri which is one of the most popular snacks sold on Baku streets and in many pastry shops throughout the city. Although Georgian food is distinct in many ways (think lots of cheese and lots of walnuts), it shares similarities with Azerbaijani food and  that’s how I know it’s delicious:). Georgian cooking incorporates the use of fresh ingredients in every dish, just like Azerbaijani cooking, where the concept of freezing something else besides the meat is almost non-existent. The ingredients must be fresh so I’d say frequent runs to markets are inevitable.

In the following recipe for chakhokhbili, a traditional Georgian dish, for example, the key is to use the freshest ingredients available. In this dish, chicken is simmered down with the freshest ripe tomatoes (don’t be tempted to use canned tomatoes if you want to make this dish truly Georgian) and plentiful of fresh herbs, to result in the most flavorful and delicious meal. This Georgian dish is a staple in my kitchen as I make it pretty often. You will love it too, I am sure. Enjoy!

Georgian Chicken with Herbs
recipe from The Georgian Feast by Darra Goldstein

Serves 6 to 8

2 tablespoons butter
one 3-pound chicken, cut into 10 pieces
4 medium onions, peeled and chopped
8 medium tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
generous 1/2 cup chopped mixed fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, tarragon, basil, dill)
1/8 teaspoon dried hot red pepper flakes
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a large skillet and brown the chicken pieces on all sides. Stir in the chopped onions and cook for 10 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.

Add the prepared tomatoes and cook, covered, for 30  minutes, or until the chicken is done.

Stir in the garlic, herbs, hot pepper, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, covered, 5 minutes longer.

Let stand 5 minutes, covered,  before serving.

24 Comments
  1. Ohh, Farida you knoked me down with this. I just recalled that I have been there when was achild. My uncle took us there with my grandada’ ZAPI if you know what i mean. I gew up in Gakh which is close to Balaken. But I still remember the hill and on which Lagodekhi is located. It is really nice place. I think I will go there.
    Regarding the Chakhokhbili it is a really delicious dish which I had a couple of years ago in Baku at Bayilovo. Thanks for all your work and recepies.

  2. To be honest, even I thought that it is the state! I’m geographically closer to Georgia, actually it’s our neighbor country, so I should have guessed it. But I’m not so familiar with its cuisine. Adding fresh herbsinto this chicken dish is a wonderful idea, I’ve never tried it. Maybe I can try it for tomorrow’s dinner as I bought several fresh herbs from the open market today.

  3. Hello my friend! Delicious!!!!!!!!!

    Kisses

  4. Ohh, Farida this dish is sensational!! I can’twait to try this recipe out – oh boy what a treat :D

  5. Farida!! I thought it was the state!! :D The dish looks so so good!! Loved it’s colour!!

  6. You see why I love your blog? Another dish and cuisine I am introduced to!

  7. Love that aromatic and flavourful chicken recipe with herby touch….looks spicy and yummylicious…..

    How r u? How is your baby? Did Ramadan shopping started there?

  8. assalamoalaikum,
    U have gota very yummy collection of dishes..chicken dish luks yum yum…cant wait to try it

    Great to know about Georgia..keep blogging

  9. Lovely photo! I’ve blogged about chackhohbili, using the same recipe by Darra Goldstein as a basis – it’s wonderful!

  10. Of course I think of the nation of Georgia…I relate so much more than to the US state. This dish looks very comforting, some rice on the side would go well.

  11. Oh, wow, this looks Fab! Glad my mother is visiting, guess what she will have to try to cook for us soon!

  12. Feride – this looks delicious – my mothers descendants are from Georgia – this going back many many centuries long before they moved to Turkey.

    I look forward to trying this dish, my mom will be blown away – just one quick question why does such a small amount of chicken require so many onions.

    Hope you are well..selamlarimla… Aysegul

  13. ah farida! i really need to travel more. i didn’t even know about Georgia but thank goodness I know about Azerbaijan :) this dish looks lovely and I can never fault dishes that use fresh ingredients. yummy! xx

  14. ILIKO: Welcome to my blog. Lagodekhi was beautiful. I just remembered that we also liked their univermags because they had more choice than univermags in Balaken:)

    ZERRIN: Let me know how it turned out if you make it.

    EU MULHET: Thanks a bunch:)

    ROSIE: Thank you. Hope you get to try it. It’s yummy!

    RIA: See, I got you:) Cuisine of the Caucasus is generally very bright and lively.

    CYNTHIA: Thank you. It’s mutual. I learn a lot from your blog too.

    LUBNA KARIM: Thank you. We are all fine. The baby is in his terrible twos stage and it is terrible:) Ramadan shopping may have started here but it is not that visible here at all.

    SHAISTA: Thanks for stopping by. Please visit again .

    PILLE PERESOO: Isn’t Darra Goldstein’s book great? I’ll check out your blog soon.

    PETER: I had no doubt you would know it was the Republic of Georgia. Rice would be great with it, you are absolutely right.

    SCARY AZERI: Enjoy!

    AYSEGUL: How interesting that you have Georgian ancestry. I hope your mom loves the dish. The onions will almost disappear once the dish is ready. You will see that it is not much at all. They add an incredible taste to the dish. Enjoy!

    DIVA: Well, live and learn, Diva girl:) Glad you like the dish by its looks. Hope you get to cook it one day. It’s delicioso!

  15. lovely!!

  16. Hi Farida!
    I have recently found this side and enjoy very mach.
    But I have one question-Sanda manim kimi Shekilisan?

  17. just finished cooking this dish and its absolutely delicious! thank you for the recipe!

  18. you brought memories. my mom used to make it. oh my god. i forgot so many things. i cook new american dishes. forgot the food of my childhood and there nobody here to remind me. sad:(

  19. I had it yesterday, Sooo delicious! I just needed something quick, easy and new for dinner, came across this recipe. kak govoritsa v narode ” you saved a day” :)) Lovely! Thanks :X:X

  20. i was in georgia for about 7 month a year or two ago and u are so right! the food is delicious and fresh! love the recipe! hope u get a chance to visit this beautiful country and enjoy the food! when i came back to the state i was definitely a pound or 5 more than i was when i left but it was worth it!

  21. Have made this many times…..never went back to French or Mexican…see Chef in Love film….

  22. Break a couple of whole eggs and slowly stir into the dish as a final step – you’d be amazed how much this will add to the taste and flavor. This is the way Chakhohbili is cooked in Kakheti region of Georgia, where I am from. Peace.

  23. Ate it a couple of weeks ago with a Georgian friend at Imereti, a Georgian restaurant in Baku – delicious! Will try your recipe at home.

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