Palestinian Musakhan Made Easy

Musakhen, pronounced "MMMM-sock-hen", is originally Palestinian. It's traditionally a roasted chicken thigh and leg dish. You roast the chicken and then add the flat bread to the drippings on the pan and top with the onions and chicken. The bread gets crackly and crisp and is delicious. The first time I made it I stayed true to how it's made in Palestinian communities. And then I got creative. So while this recipe isn't totally new to my site, this version of the recipe is.

For an event I wanted to serve musakhen and needed it easier to eat as part of a buffet. I reworked the dish to incorporate all of the original flavors while changing up the technique to have a simplified dish. In the original you roast the chicken with lemon which caramelizes it a little, I just do that part in the pan. It mellows out the acidity while condensing the flavor. 

When I saw the theme for this weeks From Our Dinner Table was Easy Middle Eastern I knew it was time to finally get around to this version of the recipe.

8 chicken thighs
salt to taste

4 large red onions, sliced
3 Tbsp olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. sumac powder
1/2 - 1 tsp. salt
pepper to taste

Toasted almonds, pine nuts, fresh parsley to top
Pita, naan, or other flat bread

Boil the chicken thighs in very lightly salted water until falling apart. Remove the fat and break up in to large bite sized pieces. I usually do that the night before so at dinner time it's really easy.

Heat the olive oil in a medium sized skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for about 25 minutes. Mostly just leave them and stir every 5 minutes so they don't burn. They will shrink up a lot as they caramelize.

Add the minced garlic and then turn the heat to high. As soon as you smell the garlic add the lemon juice and cook until it's mostly evaporated from the pan. Add the chicken, sumac, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Heat just enough to heat through and eat on flat bread.

You can top the skillet after it's cooked or individual portions with the nuts and herbs if using. 

Serve on your flatbread of choice and enjoy!

Easy Middle Eastern Food Recipes

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  1. Always happy for another chicken recipe and this one sounds amazing.

  2. I have never tried sumac powder before but I put it on my list for my next trip to the store or spice market. I love how easy this dish looks.


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