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Crispy Chicken under a Brick (Tsitsila Tabaka)

4 Servings

2 hours 50 minutes active

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For this recipe, we find inspiration in Georgia, set at the crossroads of Eastern Europe and Western Asia and known for dishes that benefit from both cuisines. The chicken is spatchcocked, which puts thighs and breasts on the same plane for even cooking. Georgian cooks use a brick to keep their chickens truly flat (you’ll find the same technique in Italy’s pollo al mattone). The weight presses the chicken down, ensuring the bird makes full contact with the pan’s hot surface, which renders the fat and ensures even browning. If crisp skin is what you’re after, this is the way to get it. For the “brick,” we use a second heavy skillet or a large, sturdy pot (such as a Dutch oven); it’s easier and works just as well. However, if you have them on hand, you instead could use one or two clean bricks wrapped in heavy-duty foil. An easy pan sauce with garlic, lemon and cilantro perfectly complements the chicken.




Don’t use a chicken much larger than 4 pounds, as it may not fit comfortably in the skillet. Don't forget to pat the chicken dry before searing. The drier the skin, the better it crisps. After searing, make sure to drain the fat in the pan before putting the bird in the oven; this reduces splatter. Finally, don't forget that the skillet's handle will be hot after being in the oven.

2 hours

50 minutes active


  • teaspoons ground coriander

  • ½

    teaspoon granulated garlic


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Maura W.
October 11, 2022
My husband wants this once a week
So tender! So easy! Yummy
Cathy G.
June 19, 2022
Fairly easy recipe and the return on flavor is incredible. A definite repeat and will be in my regular rotation!
Susan W.
January 15, 2023
Susan W.
Amazing recipe - the only mistake I made was not watching the chicken when browning in pan and it burnt a little. Did not detract from the flavor. I have made twice - once with a whole chicken and once with bone-in breasts. Both turned out great.
Diana L.

It was easy to make and it was delicious. I will be making this again. Thank you for the recipe!

Zeben C K.

I made this tonight for dinner and it was a big hit. The chicken stayed moist and was very evenly cooked. I didn’t have a large enough skillet for my chicken so used a roasting pan instead, and it worked just fine. The oven cooking time took a bit longer than the recipe suggested, but that is what an oven probe thermometer is for. Will definitely be making this again.

David G.

delicious but the sauce did not reduce. should it have been 1 cup of broth vs 2?

Mary D.

Fabulous. One of our favorite chicken dishes. Would anyone know what the traditional side dishes would be?

Lynn C.

Hi Mary -

Here are a few Milk Street recipes that would make great sides to the Georgian chicken:

Kidney Bean Salad with Spiced Vinaigrette and Herbs -
Green Beans with Georgian Mint-Chile Sauce -
Persian Tomato Cucumber Salad -
Armenian Grilled Potatoes -

The Milk Street Team

Cheryl R.

This was one of the tastiest chicken dishes ever. I can’t wait to have it again. Full of flavor, moist, crispy, flavorful skin, bright sauce. Absolutely divine.

Andrea N.

One of my go-to recipes. So easy to make, and not a lot of hands on cooking. I made no alterations to the recipe after my first try. 10/10