Recipe: Georgian chakhokhbili and cheat’s khachapuri

It has been a long time since my last post. Like most people, the past months for me have been somewhat different to normal. I haven’t ventured beyond Suffolk and there were no camping trips to enjoy, but it isn’t all bad. I have had time to read, be outside and spend time with my small group of friends.

Now that the weather is changing and the temperature dropping, it is time to get back into the kitchen! Last Sunday was suitably grey and dismal, and so I decided to go with a Georgian theme and make chakhokhbili and khachapuri. I have never been to Georgia, although it is on my list of places I’d like to visit; but when I went to Kyiv back in 2017 we went to a Georgian restaurant for dinner and I discovered the joy of Georgian cooking.

Chakhokhbili is a traditional Georgian stew of chicken, herbs and tomatoes. It was served with sauteed potatoes and finished off with a serving of khachapuri, a fabulous cheese-stuffed bread. It was hands down one of the best meals I have ever had.

My version is a slight variation on the traditional recipes to account for the quirks of the British palate. I served it with homegrown potatoes sauteed with butter, seasalt and dill.

Chakhokhbili (Georgian chicken stew)

Ingredients

  • Boneless chicken thighs
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 red peppers
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2x tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 bunch of dill
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Chop the chicken thighs, onion and red pepper.
  2. Season and brown the chicken thigh pieces.
  3. Add the chopped onion and red peppers to the pan and cook until softened.
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes, garlic and chilli. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook for approximately half an hour on a lower heat.
  5. Add chopped coriander and dill to the pot. Cook for a further 10 minutes (minimum), add any additional seasonings as required.

Cheat’s khachapuri

Traditionally, khachapuri is a much more complex recipe, but as I am usually short on time and lacking motivation, I make a cheat’s version which takes no more than half an hour to prepare.

Ingredients

  • Ready-made pizza dough
  • 2 bags of grated cheese (I use mozzarella and cheddar)

Method:

  1. Roll the pizza dough into a circle on a lightly floured surface.
  2. Cover the dough with the grated cheese, and fold in the edges so the cheese is not visible.
  3. Roll the dough flat, being careful not to reveal the filling.
  4. Add more cheese
  5. Bake at 200C until golden

The finished product:

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