Flattened chicken (tabaka)

Flattened Chicken (Tabaka ტაბაკა)

Flattened chicken called Tabaka is a staple dish in Georgia, simple and delicious. Traditionally, it was made on the clay dish called a ketsi with heavy piece of clay on top to flatten the bird. At home, we used a heavy cast iron skillet and big flat stone that weighed about 10 pounds. (It was a special stone just for kitchen use). You can easily substitute heavy cans of soup or crushed tomatoes for a stone. In order to distribute the weight of the stone evenly, you’ll want to put a plate on top of the flattened chicken and then put the stone (or cans) on top. As the seasoning is minimal _just salt and pepper _I really recommend that you buy organically grown chicken that has lots of natural flavor. Cornish game hen  is great in this recipe as well.


  • One chicken (2 lbs) or a Cornish hen
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 5-7 garlic cloves
  • ½ cup water


  1. Clean the chicken, pat it dry, and place it breast side up on a cutting board. With a sharp knife, cut the breast bone, so that you can open it all the way through and lay it flat.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium high heat, add butter and oil and place the chicken with skin side down. Place the plate on top of the chicken and then put the stone or heavy can on it. Cook the chicken over medium high heat for 15-20 minutes, until the skin is brown and crusty. Turn, replace the weight and cook 15-20 minutes more. If the chicken isn’t cooked through, remove the plate and the weight and put the pan in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
  4. While the chicken cooks, prepare the sauce. Put the garlic cloves In a food processor, and pulse well, add water and season with salt.
  5. When the chicken is done, transfer to the serving plate and pour the garlic/water mixture in the pan, cook for 30 seconds and pour the sauce over the chicken. It gives a lot of flavor to the dish.

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Flattened Chicken (Tabaka ტაბაკა)
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