1 young whole chicken
3 T olive oil (for BBQ) or butter (for pan)
cayenne pepper (optional)
salt and black pepper, freshly ground
Rinse and pat dry the chicken.
Lay the chicken on its back on the cutting board and cut it along the breast bone, open it and flatten.
Flip over, cover with plastic wrap and pound the entire bird with a meat pounder, especially breaking the joints.
Pan (traditional way):
Rub the chicken with softened butter and spices.
Preheat tapa on medium-high heat. Alternately, can use a pan with a heavy cover, a screw press, or just a large cast iron skillet with a plate to cover the chicken and a brick or a pot of water, to weight it down.
Place the chicken on the pan skin side down.
Fry on low heat for 15-20 min, until golden brown.
Turn and fry for another 15-20 min.
BBQ (my way):
Rub the chicken with olive oil and spices.
Preheat BBQ on high heat.
Place the chicken on the BBQ skin side down, and use a brick wrapped in foil or a BBQ weight to press the chicken down.
Grill covered 20 min, until golden brown.
Turn, press and fry for another 15-20 min.
Match made in Heaven:
Serve with Tkemali (sour plum sauce), Niortskali (garlic sauce), Bazhe or Satsivi (walnut sauce), fresh cut tomatoes and a glass of Georgian wine.