All about Palestinian musakhan: sumac chicken with onion and flatbread

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Warning: do not read this piece on a hungry stomach, because it will only make you even more hungry. At least that’s what happened to us when we read about musakhan: a Palestinian dish with chicken, flatbread and sumac as the main ingredients.

Is your mouth watering yet? We do.

What is musakhan?

Musakhan is an important dish of Palestinian cuisine. For musakhan, flatbread is topped with caramelized onions and sumac chicken (the drumsticks). Often some pine nuts and/or fresh herbs are added afterwards.

That those ingredients are extremely tasty (especially if you season them with typical Middle Eastern seasonings such as sumac, cumin and cardamom). How it is eaten? Manual. And yes, that results in messy scenes. But that’s nice, isn’t it?

How do you make it yourself?

Making Musakhan is not higher mathematics. But as with so many dishes, musakhan is also a case of ‘easy to make, difficult to perfect’. In most recipes, you roast the chicken in the oven first, after massaging it thoroughly with a mixture of olive oil, salt, and sumac.

After forty minutes you have tender sumac chicken, which (tip!) is even tastier by placing it under the hot grill for a few minutes at the end. This gives it a nice golden brown skin and that’s what you want. Leave the grill of your oven on for a while, you’ll need it later.

low & slow

When the chicken is in the oven, you’ll have time to prepare the caramelized onions. The only way to do this is low and slow : when you stew onions long enough on a low heat, they automatically become sweet and wonderfully tender. Spices are also added to the onions, such as sumac and cumin.

Then you will build the dish. Take a large baking dish, arrange the flatbreads in it and sprinkle the caramelized onions on top. Chicken on top, finish with extra salt and pepper and hops, a last few minutes under the grill.

Tasting Musakhan

The heat will draw the fat from the meat into the flatbreads. Can you imagine how delicious that is? Especially if you add some finely chopped green herbs (such as coriander or mint) and some toasted pine nuts.

Prefer a step-by-step recipe? You’ll find it here . There is also a good recipe in the Falastin cookbook.

Unfortunately, Palestinian restaurants are quite scarce in our country. The best chance of finding musakhan on the menu is at other Middle Eastern restaurants, such as Lebanese.

Do you know where to get the best musakhan? Tip the editors and send an email to

Source: Culy by
*The article has been translated based on the content of Culy by If there is any problem regarding the content, copyright, please leave a report below the article. We will try to process it as quickly as possible to protect the rights of the author.

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*We just want readers to access information more quickly and easily with other multilingual content, instead of only having information available in a certain language.


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