Young (Spring) Chicken Tapaka (Tabaka) (Shemtsvari tsitsila-tabaka)

After Soup HarchoKhachapuriKhinkali, the most popular dish of Georgian cuisine is chicken tapaka (tabaka).

The name of this popular Georgian dish comes from the special small pan with a lid press where the chicken is cooked.

Chicken tapaka is a traditionally fried chicken with no spices, just rubbed with salt and pepper for 20 minutes before cooking and fried in a butter. Put the chicken on a hot frying pan with butter, skin side down, cover with a heavy lid-press and fry on both sides. If you don’t have a special heavy lid, use any other press or something heavy or a big pot with water.

It’s a very simple dish with simple and easy ingredients.

Serve the crispy golden brown chicken with flat bread along with a garlic based sauce, spices and lemon juice or Georgian sauce ‘tkemali’, ‘Satsivi’ and of course the Georgian wine. You can also serve the chicken with potatoes, rice, or fresh vegetables, such as tomatoes or cucumbers.

More photos for this dish

Also popular Georgian chicken dishes: Chakhokhbili Chicken and Satsivi Chicken

Young (Spring) Chicken Tapaka (Tabaka) (Shemtsvari tsitsila-tabaka) Recipe

By Olya Sandstrom Published: December 2, 2015

  • Yield: 4 Servings

After Soup Harcho, Khachapuri, Khinkali, the most popular dish of Georgian cuisine is chicken tapaka (tabaka). The name of this …



  1. First cut along the middle of the chicken breasts, along the rib cage, to split the whole chicken. Spread the chicken so it is flat and two equal halves. You may need to cut some skin and muscle to make this easier.
  2. After, rub the salt and pepper to the chicken to your taste. Some other spicing options are to marinate with red wine, rub with ground coriander and paprika, or fresh crushed garlic.
  3. In a small pan, the size of the chicken, heat the butter and put the chicken skin side down to fry. Place something heavy on top, for example, I put a large pot filled with water but a cast iron pan works well also. Fry the chicken for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown on low heat, then turn to the other side and fry for another 15-20 minutes.
  4. Mix the ingredients for the sauce together. The sauce can be poured on top of the finished chicken or serve separately with the chicken.

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