Palestinian Musakhan


I have never heard of or tried the Musakhan dish until I met my dear Palestinian friend here in USA. Just by looking at it, I knew that this will be ridiculously delicious! It has different variations but traditionally it is pieces of bone in chicken that has lemony flavor from sumac and lime juice mixed with the sweetness of the caramelized red onions over juicy pita bread that could be eaten by itself. Palestinians in Palestine use different type of bread called shrak bread, it is very close to the Armenian Lavash bread. I am using pita bread in this recipe but I will try it next time with the Lavash one.

Sometimes, my friend makes it in a wrap with shredded chicken instead and it reminds me of shawarma, it is so good! Today I will share with you the traditional musakhan recipe. Hope you like it too! I am sure if you try it, you will 🙂


2 whole hens or 1 large chicken cut into pieces
3 to 4 pita bread or Armenian Lavash
1/2 cup ground sumac
3-4 thinly sliced small red onions depending on size
1 teaspoon all spices
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 lime juice
4 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup olive oil to saute the onions
salt and pepper

Wash and pat dry the chicken.

In a large bowl, mix the chicken with the sumac, cinnamon, spices, lime juice, 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper. Make sure that the chicken is well covered with the spices and the olive oil. Set in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours or at least 30 minutes.

In a skillet on a medium heat, warm the skillet well then add the 1/2 cup of olive oil.

Red onions for musakhan

Add the onions and saute until the onions are cooked and become soft and juicy.

Red onions for musakhan
Red onions for musakhan

It will take from 15 to 20 minutes.

Red onions for musakhan

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Brush a baking dish with 1 tbsp of olive oil.
Add the chicken in the baking dish and bake for around 1 hour or until done.

Musakhan chicken

Now, assemble it all together.


Line the bottom of a another baking dish with the bread.
This is very important step: Use some of the goodness of the juices in the chicken baking dish and brush the bread very well with it.
Add the onions on the op of each pita bread.

Pita bread with red onions

Add the chicken on the top of the onions.
Top the chicken with some onions as well.
Put it back in the oven for 15 minutes.
If you like, garnish with some pine nuts on the top. Enjoy!



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