Lime Marinated Chicken

Zesty Lime Marinated Half Chicken

This juicy roasted chicken recipe was inspired by the traditional Georgian dish, Chicken Tabaka. Usually, it’s cooked with lots of fresh garlic, lemon juice, fresh herbs, and spicy Georgian sauce. The dish is very popular among USSR countries, and I vividly remember my mother cooking this crispy and amazingly delicious chicken for our family dinners. Probably, my childhood memories are the main reason I decided to give this recipe another life.

Lime Marinated Half Chicken

The original recipe is a bit more complicated than my variation. Original Chicken Tabaka is a whole bird, flattened out on the pan and pressed by weight. It’s fried to crispy perfection and drizzled with simple lemon-garlic sauce. In my version, I used half chicken and didn’t flatten it at all; I just removed the backbone. After, I marinated it with garlic, lime, salt, and pepper. Then I seared it in a cast-iron skillet and finished in the oven.

TIP: To keep the chicken juicy, covered it with aluminum foil before roasting.

It’s a great dish for a weeknight dinner, especially if you pair it with nice Pinot Noir. You can serve this chicken with fresh cilantro and roasted veggies or crunchy slaw on the side. Another great side option would be Farfalle with Creamy Mushroom Sauce. I can hardly say it’s healthy, but delicious for sure!

Lime Marinated Half Chicken recipe

TIP: Chicken Tabaka traditionally served with Georgian sauces such as Satsivi or Tkemali. I suggest you try Homemade Harissa; it would make a perfect combo.
Lime Marinated Chicken

Lime Marinated Half Chicken


  • 1/2 chicken – 3 1/2 – 4 pounds backbone removed
  • kosher salt – 2 teaspoons
  • lime juice – 2 1/2 tablespoons
  • garlic – 1 bulb + 2 cloves
  • freshly ground black pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
  • chili powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • vegetable oil – 1 tablespoon
  • lime – 1
  • cilantro – small bunch – roughly chopped


  • In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 tablespoons of lime juice, 2 minced garlic cloves, black pepper, and chili powder.
  • Rub the chicken with the salt and drizzle with the Lime-Garlic mixture. Let marinate at room temperature for 1 hour.
  • Coat a large cast-iron skillet lightly with oil and heat over medium-high heat.
  • Preheat oven to 350 F.
  • Fry the chicken from both sides until golden and crispy, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from the heat.
  • Roughly slice the garlic and lime, arrange on a skillet along with the chicken. Tightly cover with aluminum foil and transfer into the oven.
  • Roast the chicken for about 20 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in a thigh reads 165 degrees F.
  • Remove the chicken from oven, drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of lime juice and sprinkle with cilantro; let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
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