Chicken Tabaka

Chicken tabaka is a Georgian dish of pan-fried, flattened chicken.

Lastest Updated January 6, 2024
Verified by A-Z Cuisines Team
  • Fusion
  • Traditional
Home » Dishes A-Z » Chicken Tabaka

Fact: “The term ‘tabaka’ in chicken tabaka originates from an Armenian word, signifying ‘flattened chicken,’ which aptly describes the dish’s cooking method.

Flag of Uzbekistan#39 in Uzbekistan

Basic Information

Chicken Tabaka: Basic Information


/ˈtʃɪkɪn tɑˈbɑkɑ/

Alternative Name(s)

Tsitsila tabaka

Dish Type

Grilled and barbecued dishes


Main course


Lunch, dinner

Popular Variations

Origin and Region

Chicken Tabaka: Origin and Region



Continent’s Region

Eastern Europe and West Asia

Country’s Region

Nationwide Origin

Associated Region

Georgia Map
Ingredients and Preparation

Chicken Tabaka: Ingredients and Preparation

Main Ingredients


Main Cooking Method


Preparation Process

A whole chicken is flattened and pressed on a pan for thorough frying
A Deep Dive

Chicken Tabaka: A Deep Dive

Cultural Significance

A traditional Georgian dish


Meat, smoky


Soft, tender




Golden brown

Serving Style

On a place

Serving Temperature



No accompaniment


On any occasions



Special Diets



602 calories, according to data of MyFitnessPal for a 6-ounce serving of chicken tabaka


Georgia, Uzbekistan

Popular Similar Dishes

  1. Gà nướng muối ớt
  2. Butterflied roast chicken
  3. Piri piri chicken

Popular Dining Area

Households, eateries, and restaurants in Georgia

Chicken tabaka, also known as tsitsila tabaka, is a grilled chicken dish that originates from Georgia. Interestingly, it’s also a well-known specialty of Caucasian cuisine.

Chicken Tabaka Overview

During the Soviet Union era, chicken tabaka became a favorite chicken dish in Uzbekistan as well.

To make chicken tabaka, people traditionally use a pan called tapa to pan-fry a whole chicken. Also, it’s essential that the bird is flattened using a weight so it’s cooked evenly.

Nowadays, there’s even a specialized pan for cooking chicken tabaka designed with a heavy lid or with a screw for keeping the chicken pressed against the cooking surface.

Flavor-wise, the bird is often infused with garlic or seasoning spices of bazhe, satsivi, or tkemali.
Don’t just stop at the basic information about chicken tabaka as the process of making this specialty is interesting to look into.

Also, I’ll leave you with some serving suggestions to make chicken tabaka more flavorful.Then, uncover the good and bad features of eating this dish.

Next, you need to take a look at the usual concerns revolving around chicken tabaka. Plus, you should expand your menu with a few chicken dishes that are like chicken tabaka.

Key Points

  • Chicken tabaka is a grilled chicken dish that originates from Georgia.
  • The chicken is flattened while cooking using something heavy.
  • The dish is flavored with garlic and various sauces.

Chicken Tabaka

How to Make Chicken Tabaka?

Chicken tabaka possesses a unique way of cooking, therefore it will be an interesting take for people to have a look at the procedure to produce the right texture:

Step 1: Prepare The Chicken

Start with a small to medium-sized whole chicken, split the chicken in-half on the breast side, and flatten by using something heavy.

Step 2: Season The Chicken

Generously season both sides with garlic and spices.

Step 3: Heat The Pan

Use a large, heavy skillet or frying pan, heating it over medium-high heat with oil or butter.

Step 4: Cook The Chicken

Place chicken skin-side down in the pan, weigh it down with a heavy object, and cook until the skin is crispy; then flip to cook the other side.

Step 5: Check For Doneness And Serve

Ensure the chicken is fully cooked. Let the chicken rest for a few minutes before serving, ideally with Georgian sides like tkemali or garlic sauce.

After getting a grip on how chicken tabaka is made, discover the side options that go great with this flavorful chicken meat.

What to Serve with Chicken Tabaka?

Chicken tabaka is easily elevated with a few Georgian options. Here are 5 prime examples to pair with this chicken dish:

Tkemali Georgian Plum Sauce

Tkemali (Georgian plum sauce)

This traditional Georgian sour plum sauce is a classic accompaniment to chicken tabaka, adding a tangy and slightly sweet flavor.

Ajika Spicy Dip

Ajika (spicy dip)

A spicy and flavorful dip, ajika complements the crispy chicken with its heat and depth of flavor.

Mchadi Georgian Cornbread

Georgian cornbread (mchadi)

This traditional bread is a great side for soaking up the juices and flavors of the chicken.

Lobio Georgian Bean Salad

Georgian bean salad (lobio)

A hearty and flavorful bean salad that can balance the richness of the chicken.

Badrijani Nigvzit Georgian Eggplant Rolls

Georgian eggplant rolls (badrijani nigvzit)

Eggplant rolls stuffed with a walnut and garlic paste offer a delicious vegetarian contrast.

Also, in case you want to know if chicken tabaka is suitable for your consumption, make sure to take a peek at some of the good and bad features of it.

Pros and Cons of Eating Chicken Tabaka

In case you’re doubting about adding chicken tabaka to your next meal. Let these features be the determining factors:


  • Nutritional Value: Chicken is a good source of lean protein, essential for muscle growth and repair. It also contains important vitamins and minerals.
  • Quick Cooking Time: Because the chicken is flattened, it has a quicker cooking time compared to whole chicken, making it a convenient option for a relatively quick meal.
  • Suitable for Various Diets: Chicken is often a permissible option in many dietary plans, including ketogenic, paleo, and other protein-centric diets.


  • Cooking Technique: The process of flattening and pan-frying chicken requires some skill and the right equipment (like a heavy pan or press), which might not be readily available to everyone.
  • Potential for High Fat and Cholesterol: Chicken skin, while tasty, is high in fat and cholesterol. Consuming it in large quantities may not be advisable for those monitoring their cholesterol levels.

Next, let some of the common concerns revolving around chicken tabaka shed you with extra knowledge about this dish.

Chicken Tabaka FAQs

While traditionally pan-fried, some variations might adapt the recipe for oven cooking, though this might slightly alter the texture.

It’s not typically spicy, but the flavor profile can be adjusted with the addition of spices or spicy sauces.

Yes, it can be reheated, though the skin might lose some of its crispiness upon reheating.

Yes, any heavy skillet or pan can work, as long as it can effectively press the chicken down.

Overcooking the chicken, not flattening it enough, or using too much oil can affect the final dish.

Similar Dishes of Chicken Tabaka

Adam Sam

Adam Sam

Senior Food and Drink Editor


Food Writer & Recipe Developer, Recipe Tester, Bartender, Cooking-video Maker, Editor In Chief


  • University of Gastronomic Sciences – Pollenzo (Italy) (MA Food Culture, Communication & Marketing)
  • Johnson & Wales University (US) (Baking and Pastry Arts)
  • Professional Bartender at HNAAu School (Vietnam, International Joint Training Program)

Adam Sam, an experienced food writer and recipe developer, is passionate about blending diverse culinary traditions, national dishes, and innovative beverages, showcasing his proficiency in both traditional and modern recipe testing.

As the Editor-in-Chief, he elevates culinary content from street food to fine dining, focusing on Western cuisine and types of drinks at, and is professional in creating engaging cooking videos that simplify complex dishes and ingredients.

His passion for food is evident in his writing, where he uniquely merges various cultures, traditions, and contemporary trends, skillfully combining classic recipes with modern cooking methods.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *