I have such fond memories of this dish, it is one of my clearest memories of my short trip to Tbilisi some years back. That and the wonderful flea market, everyone singing in gorgeous chorus between drinks of wine, and this one meal in a restaurant upstairs. I remember being outdoors looking at a garden. I remember the little walnut balls, divine. I remember this garlicky chicken. Crisp, rich and intense, I remember noticing how they jointed their chicken differently. Georgia is a wonderful country for food and wine, and I really must return there and explore further and for longer.
It is traditional to use a whole chicken for this, I decided to use chicken thighs. Chicken thighs are inexpensive, have great flavour, retain moisture and have plenty of skin to crisp. The flavours in this dish are rich and deep, but it is deceptively simple. The chicken is par cooked (and the skin crisped) before being covered with a garlic milk mixture which forms a beautiful crust on top as it cooks further in the oven.