Chakhokhbili: Spicy Georgian chicken stew

Chakhokhbili1
Chakhokhbili with khachapuri (cheese bread)

Georgian food is quite different from Central Asian food; if I had to describe it simply, it’s like a fusion of Russian and Turkish cuisine. I’ve only had Georgian food in restaurants here in NYC, but loved what I’ve tried. Some foods, like the famous khachapuri cheese bread, are rich and hearty, reminiscent of Eastern European cuisine; others, like khinkali dumplings or tolma stuffed grape leaves show the influence of Central Asia or the Middle East.

Chakhokhbili is a Georgian dish of stewed chicken made with a special mix of herbs and spices called khmeli-suneli. Reading the label, khmeli-suneli has: marjoram, dill, thyme, basil, celery, mint, parsley, coriander, safflower, summer savory, red pepper, hyssop, black pepper, fenugreek, and bay leaves. I found it in Kalustyan’s. If you can’t find it, just use your favorite herbs. Probably just marjoram and thyme would be a decent substitute.

This recipe is from BigGeorgeHighlander, watch his Youtube recipe here (in Russian).

Ingredients
Chicken, chopped into medium sized pieces – 1lb
Onion, diced – 1 medium sized onion
Garlic, finely diced – 4-5 cloves
Basil, roughly chopped
Cilantro, roughly chopped
Diced tomatoes – 1 can or a few tomatoes
Black pepper
Khmeli-suneli spice mix
Red chili pepper, finely diced
Salt
Sugar

Directions
1. Sautee the chicken in oil over high heat.
CookChicken

2. After the chicken is browned, add the onion and cook until soft.
ChickenOnions

3. Add the red chili pepper and cook everything for a bit.
4. Add black pepper and a few teaspoons of khmeli-suneli and mix everything together.
AddSpices

5. Add the diced tomato and a bit of sugar.
AddTomato

6. Turn to low heat, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.
Stew

7. Add salt, garlic, and the basil and cilantro. Cook everything together for a bit. Complete!
FinishedCooking

Chakhokhbili2

 

 

 

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