THE BITE: This week we try out another of the neighborhood’s kebab joints and dive into Aziza 7. I wonder where the other six are? Located at 2113 Avenue Z, Aziza 7 is a bit off the beaten path and its decor and lighting reminds me more of of hair salon than a restaurant, but I’ve been hearing good things.
Chicken tabaka ($7) is a Georgian dish where a spatchcocked chicken is cooked in a heavy cast iron skillet, or a “tapha” as it’s called in Georgia. Poking around on the interwebs, tabaka translates from Russian to tobacco in English. Odd name for a dish, huh? Not very appetizing to this non-smoker. But don’t let the name fool you. This chicken tabaka is one mighty tasty dish.
To make chicken tabaka, one must first spatchcock a chicken. That’s not a sexual term, F_a_b_a. It’s a culinary technique where one removes the backbone and sternum of the chicken prior to cooking, which allows it to cook more evenly.