Georgian kitchen is one of my favorite cousins due to the use of fresh ingredients, lots of onions and simple cooking instructions. In this post I will be showing you how to make a Georgian stew, also called Chahohbilli. Chahohbilli is usually made from pheasant but we will be making it from turkey. You can also make it from chicken, as a matter of fact this is how it is usually prepared. If you want to add authenticity to your Georgian Chahohbili stew, you can cook it with pheasant. I was surprised to find out that here in Canada it is sold at the Metro Grocery store next to the frozen ducks.
Chahohbili does not require a lot of ingredients, the emphasis is on simplicity. Chahohbili usually is made of poultry (in our case, turkey), onion, tomatoes and fresh herbs. I saw some people add bell pepper to their Chahohbili stew for extra flavor but I skip this step due to pepper’s tendency to give many people heartburn.
I used my Calphalon 7Qt. Anodized Aluminum Casserole for cooking our Chahohbili but you can use whatever you have on hand. Cast iron will also be great. You need something to fry the poultry in and something to stew everything in. Any large cookware with a dish should be just fine. If you want to dins out more about why I enjoy cooking with Anodized Aluminum, you can read my article about The Joy of Cooking with Anodized Aluminum.
2 lbs of Turkey/Chicken (with bones, don’t use turkey breast)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp. coriander (powder)
1 tsp. black pepper (or to taste)
2-3 whole chili peppers (I used cayenne powder)
Kosher salt to taste
Heat vegetable oil (I use sunflower, I recommend against using corn or canola). Oil needs to be heated to a high temperature so we can brown the turkey a bit.
Cut turkey into pieces (I used whole turkey thighs) and place them in the oil. Brown the on both sides, be careful not to burn they turkey. It should take 2-4 minutes.
MIX AND FRY ONION
I added the coriander, salt and pepper. Usually the recipe does not call for sugar but my tomatoes were too firm and a bit green and i decided to sweeten them a bit. I do not like dishes with acidic tomatoes and sugar usually improves the taste of every tomato dish.
COOK AND MIX
Cook and mix on medium high heat until the tomatoes give out their juice. Then lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about an hour.
ADD HERBS and GARLIC
When finish cooking, add fresh herbs and minced fresh garlic right away. If you add the garlic and herbs 5 minutes before turning the heat off they will lose some of their fragrant flavor and become too soft, so I suggest against doing that.
I used dry parsley because I did not have fres herbs (shame on me) and the dish turned out delicious but not perfect, fresh herbs would have been so much better!
You can serve Georgian Chahohbili stew with rice, potato or couscous. I rad some people serve it with pasta and I suppose you can do that but I think I will stick to the options above.
Another tip is to let the dish stand for 5 minutes to cool down a bit and release that yummy garlic smell! I am sure the Chahohbili will smell so good that 5 minutes will seems like too long!
I hope you try my recipe and tell me what you think of it.