Shkmeruli (შქმერული) is a chicken dish from Georgia’s Racha region. A young chicken is usually used for this recipe and is cooked in milk and garlic. Sour cream can be used instead of milk.
Ingredients (1-2 servings):
- 1 whole young chicken
- 1 head of garlic,
- 300 ml of milk
- 100 ml of water
- a few tablespoons of oil
- salt to taste
- Cut the chicken lengthwise but do not separate into two halves, flattening it down on its back.
- Rub oil and salt on to both sides of the chicken.
- Add to a pan a few tablespoons of oil, add the flattened chicken and press it down with a pestle or a bit heavier ceramic pot, to keep the chicken flat on the bottom of the frying pan and fries nicely and even.
- Fry both sides of the chicken, about 5 minutes each side until nicely golden.
- Meanwhile, crush the garlic in a mortar or using a heavy knife against the chopping block.
- When the chicken is done, remove it from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes.
- Cut into 6-8 pieces.
- Add the crushed garlic to the pan with the remaining fats from the chicken frying.
- Fry over low heat for about 2 minutes, then add the water and continue to simmer for 2 more minutes.
- Add the milk and chicken pieces and simmer for 5-7 minutes over medium heat. Adjust salt to taste. (This final cooking in milk is traditionally done in a clay pot called in Georgian – ketsi – but I preferred the speedier version over the stove.)
- Serve while hot with bread. If you have Georgian bread, it’s a great plus! 😊