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Georgian Garlic Chicken (Chkmeruli or Shkmeruli) - paleo, dairy-free, Whole30

Georgian Chicken With Garlic Sauce (Chkmeruli)

  • Author: Irena Macri
  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 35 mins
  • Total Time: 55 mins
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Georgian
  • Diet: Gluten Free


In this aromatic and flavourful dish, pan-fried chicken is slathered with cilantro garlic sauce made with almonds and almond milk. It’s a delicious dairy-free sauce that you will want to put on everything! This chicken in garlic sauce is inspired by the famous Georgian chkmeruli recipe.


  • 4 chicken marylands (whole legs with thighs and drumsticks)
  • 6 chicken wings
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

For the garlic sauce

  • 250ml / 1 cup almond milk
  • 90 g / 3 oz. of skinless/blanched almonds or cashew nuts
  • A handful of fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
  • 6 cloves of garlic (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Garnish: chopped coriander/cilantro


  1. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a little bit of coconut or olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the chicken pieces, skin side down. Cook for 7-8 minutes on each side, until golden and crispy.
  2. At the same time (or 10 minutes later), preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F. While the chicken is pan-frying, prepare the sauce.
  3. Add the almond milk, nuts and fresh coriander to a blender or a food processor and puree until smooth and thick. Set aside.
  4. Transfer pan-fried chicken to a large baking dish. Reserve the cooking fat/juices from the chicken in the pan.
  5. Place the baking dish with the chicken in the hot oven (middle shelf) and roast for an additional 15 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let the chicken rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Let’s finish the sauce. Add the garlic, coriander seed powder, turmeric and cumin to the pan with the chicken fat/juices and place over medium heat. Stir through for a minute or two, until the garlic gets a little golden, and then pour in the blended almond milk mixture.
  7. Stir the sauce in the pan, over medium heat, incorporating all the spices, garlic and almond mix into a nice, thick sauce. Add about ½ teaspoon of salt and juice of 1/2 lemon, plus a pinch of pepper. Stir for another 30 seconds to a minute, and set aside.
  8. Pour the garlic sauce all over the chicken while still in the baking dish so that you can incorporate all the cooking chicken juice from the bottom when serving. Top with chopped coriander over the top.
  9. Serve over rice, potatoes, cauliflower rice or other veggies and a nice big salad.


  • Serving Size: 2 pieces of chicken with sauce
  • Calories: 322
  • Sugar: 1.5 g
  • Sodium: 753.4 mg
  • Fat: 18.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 7.8 g
  • Fiber: 2.6 g
  • Protein: 32.6 g
  • Cholesterol: 123.7 mg

Keywords: Georgian chicken, garlic chicken, chicken in garlic sauce, chkmeruli, baked chicken, dairy-free chicken recipe, dairy-free garlic sauce

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