Musakhan, Palestinian Sumac Chicken





The Chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken cut into 8 pieces 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 Tbs grape seed or vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • Juice of one small lemon (optional)

For the spice mix:

  • 1/3 cup finely ground Sumac (I had to regrind the sumac I bought because it was ground too course)
  • 1 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg 
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper 
  • 1/2 tsp Cayanne pepper
The Bread:
  • 1 package Marook or Lavash bread

Season the (washed and dried) chicken (liberally) with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper and set aside. In a small bowl, combine the spice mix and set aside. Preheat oven to sautéed onions, olive oil and spice mix. 

°. Preheat (over medium high heat) a 6Qt. enamel coated (cast iron) Dutch Oven for 3 minutes, add grape seed oil and place seasoned, dried chicken skin side down and allow to brown on both sides (about 4-5 per side). The chicken will stick to the bottom of the pot until it is browned, do not force it to flip or it will tear the skin off. Brown the chicken in two batches, do not overcrowd the pan. Once browned on both sides, remove from pot and set aside (the chicken is only browned and not fully cooked at this point). Add the Olive oil and onions to the pot, cook while scrapping the bottom of the pot until the onions are wilted (do not allow them to caramelize). Add the spice mix, cook while stirring for one minute, then add the chicken stock and lemon juice, stir well scraping the bottom of the pot. Place the chicken pieces and their juices back in the pot (skin side up), cover and bake at 350F for 40 minutes, then remove lid and cook for 10 minutes allowing the chicken to crisp. At this point, you could allow to chicken to cool, debone it, shred the chicken meat, mix with the sauce (of Olive oil, sumac and onions), roll in Marook or Lavash bread making a delicious sandwich or place some sauce over some shredded bread, top with the chicken and enjoy…


Brown the chicken, don’t overcrowd the pot. 


The Spice Mix


Sautéed onions, olive oil and spice mix. 


Chicken added to the onion, spice mix and chicken stock. 


Shredded Marook Bread. 




Musakhan, Palestinian Sumac Chicken. 

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