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To get the crispiest skin, put some pressure on your bird
Milk Street Bowtie Georgian-Style Chicken Under a Brick (Tsitsila Tabaka)

Georgian-Style Chicken Under a Brick (Tsitsila Tabaka)

1¼ hours (30 minutes active), plus resting

Free

Spatchcocked chicken cooked under a brick until the skin is burnished brown and beautifully crisp is a classic Georgian dish (though the Italian version, pollo alla mattone, is better known). For this recipe, the skillet in which the chicken is cooked must be ovensafe, as the bird roasts in the oven after the initial stovetop sear. For the “brick,” we used a second heavy skillet or a large, sturdy pot (such as a Dutch oven); the weight presses the chicken down, ensuring the bird makes good contact with the hot skillet, rendering the fat and crisping the skin. You also could use one or two clean bricks wrapped in heavy-duty foil. Niortskali, a Georgian garlic sauce with lemon and cilantro made as part of this recipe, is the perfect pan sauce to complement the chicken

1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
3 1/4 - to 4-pound whole chicken
1 tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil
2 tablespoons salted butter
8 medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped
Ingredients
  • teaspoons ground coriander

  • ½

    teaspoon granulated garlic

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • - to 4-pound whole chicken

  • 1

    tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 8

    medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 2

    cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons lemon juice

  • ¼

    cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions
  1. 01
    In a small bowl, stir together the coriander, granulated garlic, 1 tablespoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper. Place the chicken breast down on a cutting board. Using sturdy kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone, end to end. Remove and discard the backbone (or save it to make broth). Spread open the chicken, then turn it breast up. Use the heel of your hand to press down firmly on the thickest part of the breast, until the wishbone snaps. Season all over with the spice mixture, rubbing it into the skin. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.
  2. 02
    Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the lowest position. Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels. In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until just smoking. Place the chicken breast down in the pan. Lay a small sheet of foil over the chicken, then place a second heavy skillet or pot on top. Reduce to medium and cook until the skin is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, removing the weight and foil and checking every 4 to 5 minutes to ensure even browning.
  3. 03
    Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken to a large plate, turning it breast up. Pour off and discard the fat in the skillet. Slide the chicken breast up back into the pan and place in the oven. Roast until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160°F, 25 to 35 minutes. Carefully transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest while you make the sauce.
  4. 04
    Set the skillet (the handle will be hot) over medium-high and cook the butter and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits, then cook until the garlic is softened and the mixture is lightly thickened and reduced to about ¾ cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Using a silicone spatula, mash the garlic until almost smooth and mix it into the sauce. Off heat, stir in the cayenne, lemon juice and cilantro, then transfer to a serving bowl. Carve, then serve with the sauce.
Tip: 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.
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Georgian-Style Chicken Under a Brick (Tsitsila Tabaka)

Get Ready to Cook

4

Servings

1¼ hours

(30 minutes active), plus resting

Tip

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.

Ingredients
  • teaspoons ground coriander

  • ½

    teaspoon granulated garlic

  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • - to 4-pound whole chicken

  • 1

    tablespoon grapeseed or other neutral oil

  • 2

    tablespoons salted butter

  • 8

    medium garlic cloves, peeled and chopped

  • 2

    cups low-sodium chicken broth

  • to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 2

    tablespoons lemon juice

  • ¼

    cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped

Step 1 of 4

Season the chicken

teaspoons ground coriander
½
teaspoon granulated garlic
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
- to 4-pound whole chicken

In a small bowl, stir together the coriander, granulated garlic, 1 tablespoon salt and ½ teaspoon black pepper.


Place the chicken breast down on a cutting board. Using sturdy kitchen shears, cut along both sides of the backbone, end to end. Remove and discard the backbone (or save it to make broth). Spread open the chicken, then turn it breast up. Use the heel of your hand to press down firmly on the thickest part of the breast, until the wishbone snaps.


Season all over with the spice mixture, rubbing it into the skin. Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

Step 2 of 4

Crisp the chicken skin

Heat the oven to 450°F with a rack in the lowest position. Thoroughly pat the chicken dry with paper towels.



In a 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high, heat the oil until just smoking. Place the chicken breast down in the pan. Lay a small sheet of foil over the chicken, then place a second heavy skillet or pot on top. Reduce to medium and cook until the skin is golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes, removing the weight and foil and checking every 4 to 5 minutes to ensure even browning.

Step 3 of 4

Roast the chicken

Using tongs, carefully transfer the chicken to a large plate, turning it breast up. Pour off and discard the fat in the skillet. Slide the chicken breast up back into the pan and place in the oven. Roast until the thickest part of the breast reaches 160°F, 25 to 35 minutes. Carefully transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest while you make the sauce.

Step 4 of 4

Make the sauce

½
teaspoon granulated garlic
to ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2
tablespoons lemon juice
¼
cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped

Set the skillet (the handle will be hot) over medium-high and cook the butter and garlic, stirring occasionally, until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.


Add the broth and bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits, then cook until the garlic is softened and the mixture is lightly thickened and reduced to about ¾ cup, 10 to 15 minutes.


Using a silicone spatula, mash the garlic until almost smooth and mix it into the sauce. Off heat, stir in the cayenne, lemon juice and cilantro, then transfer to a serving bowl. Carve, then serve with the sauce.

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