Musakhan is a chicken and onion dish served on a flat bread. Traditionally an entire chicken would be roasted then broken down to make Mushakan. The chicken is flavored with spices, with sumac being the predominant one.
As the chicken roasts, sliced onions are cooked in the same spices as the chicken. Taboon bread is topped with the cooked onions then the chicken pieces and the entire thing is warmed up before serving with a sprinkle of toasted pine nuts.
Sumac is bright red spice with a strong tangy, almost citrusy flavor. Seven-spice mix is also used. It consists of allspice, cardamom, black pepper, coriander, nutmeg, cinnamon and cloves or a similar combination.
Taboon bread, also known as mushakan bread is a leavened bread traditionally cooked over hot stones in a dome shaped oven that can be above or below ground. It’s fluffier than pita bread and described as even better tasting than pita. Ofcourse, it’s harder to come by so pita bread is the next best substitute.
Mushakan is eaten with the hands and is often served with a side of yogurt sauce or soup. As street food, it can be found as a wrap, making it easy to eat on the go.
Origin & Cultural Significance
The exact location of Musakhan’s origin is unclear though most agree it originated in Palestine. This dish has become traditional for other middle eastern countries such as Lebanon and Jordan. It used to be prepared seasonally but over time has become a dish enjoyed year-round though it’s still prepared for festivities.
Palestinian Musakhan Recipe
- Seven spice divided - 2 tbsp
- Salt - 2 tsp
- Sumac divided – 3 tbsp
- Whole chicken legs - 4
- Olive oil – ¼ cup and 2 tbsp
- Yellow onions chopped – 4
- Toasted pine nuts – ¼ cup
- Pita flatbreads - 4-8
- Lemon slices and parsley for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pat the chicken legs dry and place on the prepared baking sheet.
- Add 1 tablespoon of theseven spice, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon sumac on top of the chicken.
- Drizzle 2 tablespoons olive oil and use your hands to rub
the spice mixture into the chicken, making sure to get underneath the skin.
- Bake for 40 minutes until the skin is crisp and the chicken is cooked to internal temperature of 165°F.
- Meanwhile, heat the ¼ cup olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until lightly golden.
- Add the remaining seven spice, salt and sumac on top of the onions and continue cooking for 5 more minutes until the spices are fragrant.
- Place the flatbreads on a large baking sheet.
- Divide the onion mixture between the flatbreads. Spread the mixture, but leave a small border around the edges.
- Add one cooked chicken leg on each flatbread. Sprinkle the pine nuts on top.
- Broil the flatbreads until the edges begin to brown and toast, 3-5 minutes.
- Serve with lemon slices and fresh parsley, if desired.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1710Total Fat: 95gSaturated Fat: 24gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 61gCholesterol: 526mgSodium: 2024mgCarbohydrates: 36gFiber: 5gSugar: 6gProtein: 170g