Shkmeruli (chicken cooked in milk and garlic sauce) was one of our very favorite dishes when we traveled to the country of Georgia. It has very few ingredients, but after tasting it, it is very clear that it doesn’t need more. The rich flavor of crispy roasted chicken paired with the creamy garlic sauce is just perfect. We typically ordered chicken shkmeruli along with some cheese laden mashed potatoes (this recipe for perfect mashed potatoes would do very nicely).
I’ve added links to our other favorite recipes from our travels through Georgia at the end of the post. I highly recommend trying the Khachapuri, which is fresh baked bread stuffed with cheese and topped with an egg. It is creamy and delicious. Another very popular Georgian dish is the khinkali, which is a stuffed pasta dumping. Most of the food from this country is heavy peasant food meant to be shared. My best suggestion is to invite over a few friends and organize a Georgian feast. In Georgia nobody would ever think of having such a meal without a good deal of wine or chacha (Georgian brandy), followed by lots of singing and dancing. If all of this inspires to you learn more about Georgia and potentially consider a trip yourself, you can read about our adventures in Georgia.
Yield 4 servings
- 1 whole chicken, about 3 1/2 lbs cut into pieces (or use bone-in chicken pieces as you like)
- 2 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil, such as sunflower (I don't recommend olive oil for this recipe)
- 2 Tablespoons Butter
- 8-10 Cloves Garlic, don't worry - this actually works
- 1 Cup Whole Milk
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash and dry the chicken pieces, then coat them with oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
- Add oil to a skillet over medium heat.
- Brown the chicken on both sides (10 minutes on the first, about 5 on the second)
- Place the chicken in a baking dish and roast uncovered for 20 - 30 minutes until cooked through (internal temperature of 165 degrees).
- Remove from the oven and allow the chicken to rest.
- Mince the garlic and then flatten with the side of your knife to form a paste (or use a mortar and pestle).
- Add the butter to a small sauce pan (you can substitute 1 tablespoon of pan drippings for some of the butter to add more rich chicken flavor to the sauce)
- Add the garlic and lightly saute.
- Add the milk and bring it to a boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Place the chicken in a small baking dish (Georgian's use a shallow clay baking dish, called a ketsi)
- Pour the milk and garlic sauce over the chicken, and bake for 5 minutes.
Pin it for later!
Additional recipes from the country of Georgia that you might enjoy.
If you love trying international dishes, visit our food finds section to see our growing collection of recipes inspired by our going travels around the world. You can also find tips to help you save money and travel more comfortably in our resources section.