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Georgian Food On My Mind | Manolo for the Big Girl

Georgian Food On My Mind

That’s Georgia the Baltic state, rather than Georgia the deep southern state.

This recipe comes from Please To the Table by Anya von Bremzen and John Welchman, a fabulous collection of recipes from all over the Russian states. This is something I’ve made for my family and friends much to their delight. In the summer, it’s great for the grill at a backyard dinner, and in winter it’s easy to make in the oven or with a grill pan.

This cookbook has some amazing recipes and is very easy to follow. It definitely gets the Twistie Stamp of Approval.


Grilled Chicken with Garlic and Walnut Sauce

serves 6 – 8

2 chickens (2 1/2 lbs. each) quartered, well rinsed, and patted dry

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/2 C olive oil

3/4 C fresh lemon juice

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 sprigs fresh tarragon, stems crushed with the back of a knife

Garlic and Walnut sauce (recipe follows)

1: Rub the chicken pieces thouroughly with salt and pepper

2: Combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, tarragon, and additional salt and pepper in a shallow dish. Add the chicken and turn to coat with marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, turning occasionally.

3: Prepare the coals for grilling until coated with white ash or preheat the broiler. Oil the grill or broiler rack.

4: remove chicken from the marinade and, without drying, grill or broil it 3 to 4 inches from the heat, turning a few times and basting with marinade. The chicken is done when the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pricked with a skewer, after about 30 minutes.

5: Serve chicken with sauce in a sauceboat.

Garlic and Walnut Sauce

makes about 2 cups

1 1/2 C walnut pieces

5 cloves garlic, peeled

1/2 C chopped fresh cilantro

1 C chicken stock or broth, warm but not hot

3 – 4 T lemon juice

Salt, to taste

1/4 t ground coriander

1/4 t ground fenugreek

1/4 t cayenne pepper

1/2 t turmeric

1: In a food processor, combine the walnuts, garlic, and 1/4 C of cilantro. Process until walnuts are finely ground. (Note: if you don’t have a food processor, this can also be done in a food mill or really good blender or a morter and pestle)

2: Transfer to a bowl and stir in the stock, lemon juice to taste, salt, coriander, fenugreek, cayenne, turmeric, and the remaining cilantro. Let sauce stand at room temperature, covered, for at least two hours before serving.

Trust me, guys, this is delicious.

6 Responses to “Georgian Food On My Mind”

  1. Sarah May 4, 2008 at 1:15 pm #

    I adore Georgian food, and it’s a pity I can’t get any where I live! I’m going back to Russia soon, but thankyouthankyouthankyou Twistie for posting this!

  2. Jae May 4, 2008 at 1:32 pm #

    Is “Georgia the Baltic state” an American thing? Because here we call Baltic states the states on the Baltic Sea coasts, and Georgia is far, far away from there. Like, whole Europe away.
    I don`t want to be nitpicky, just asking. This actually might be a cultural thing, like with “caucasian” – a word that in Russia describes those considered “people of color”.

  3. anonymous May 4, 2008 at 10:06 pm #

    this is a truly delicious dish, but the entry needs one minor correction — Georgia is on the Black Sea, not the Baltic. That’s why so many of its flavors are deliciously reminiscent of Persian and middle eastern cuisine.

  4. dinazad May 5, 2008 at 2:55 am #

    Sounds wonderful, I’ll definitely keep that recipe!

    I don’t really want to be pedantic, but Georgia is not a Baltic country (the Baltic being in the north of the continent). Rather, it’s an Eurasian country in the Caucasus, by the Black Sea….. (putting my inner pedant to rest)

  5. Twistie May 5, 2008 at 3:01 am #

    Head, meet Desk.

    Please do bring out your inner pedant. It’s probably the only way my geographically-challenged self will figure out where the heck anything is on a map. I’m much better at cooking than getting anywhere.

  6. raincoaster May 11, 2008 at 3:53 am #

    Twistie: that’s what my mother, who was digital back in the Seventies, called a Full Head Crash. The head goes crash on the desk.

    I’m sure if the book had been better you’d have gotten things straight.

    But the recipe does look delicious. The only other walnut-based sauce of which I’m aware is Persian, and very nice as well. I should give this a shot.