Recipes Around the World: Georgian Chicken in Garlic Sauce • The Blonde Abroad

Recipes Around the World: Georgian Chicken in Garlic Sauce • The Blonde Abroad
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Georgian Chicken Garlic Sauce

Melanie Hamilton of Savor & Yore is bringing a delicious garlic-infused dish from Georgia (the country, not the state) to the ‘Recipes Around the World‘ series!

Scattered across Georgia’s northwestern highlands is a mountain village heaven known as Racha. The region is famous for its rugged alpine scenery, medieval ruins, gorgeous Orthodox churches, and of course – delicious food. It’s no secret that Georgia’s food varies greatly between regions.

Adjara’s copious use of dairy, Samegrelo’s generous spices, and Kakheti’s endless vineyards are just a few things that make Georgian cuisine so varied and colorful.

Racha, of course, is no exception and is home to some of the most loved delicacies the country has to offer. From the famous rachuli lori, a 40+ day smoked ham whose roots date back millennia to the potato stuffed khachapuri; there’s something for everyone.

The real winner, though, is Racha’s shkmeruli. This mouthwatering chicken dish hails from a teeny tiny village named Skhmeri and is known for its sharp garlic taste and deliciously smooth creaminess.

Here’s the recipe for how to make shkmeruli—Georgian Chicken in Garlic Sauce—at home!


Unlike many other Georgian recipes, shkmeruli is incredibly straightforward and simple. No complicated ingredients, no difficult technique, just some much-needed patience to keep you from eating it straight out of the oven. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 1 kg whole chicken
  • 1 1/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 15 cloves garlic (yep, fifteen!)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt


There aren’t really a ton of Georgian wines that go with shkmeruli as the garlic and cream are both too overbearing to pair, so it’s often enjoyed with some old school chacha. Otherwise, Rachans will occasionally pair it with a dry red wine like Mujuretuli. If neither are available to you, vodka or merlot are a good exchange.

Don’t waste! The spine is a great use for chicken stock. Pop it in your freezer and save it to make stock or broth later.

Final  Thoughts

With more than 50 types of cheese bread and humble dishes like ajapsandali (stewed eggplant) and rachuli lorit (beans with ham), it’s no wonder the nation is home to one of the world’s most unique cuisines. I hope you enjoyed this Georgian classic and felt a bit of vibrant Caucasian culture in your kitchen.

Pictured above is the famous 10th-century church in Racha—Nikortsminda

Want to find other delicious foods from around the world to make? Check out these recipes!

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