Musakhan Rolls is a modern take on a traditional classic Palestinian recipe. Msakhan rolls combine traditional flavors with a contemporary flair to create a hearty, tasty dish. The combo of succulent chicken and caramelized onions sautéed in the embrace of fresh olive oil and wrapped in shrak or tortilla bread transforms this authentic Palestinian dish into an epic, satisfying, on-the-go dish.
The classic Palestinian Msakhan roll-ups are stuffed with delectable chicken, puckering sour sumac, sweet caramelized onions, delicious olive oil, and balanced out with the warmth of aromatic spices. Pepper, lemon juice, and pine nuts lend an unexpected Middle Eastern touch to these addictive rolls that will hit any Ramadan table.
The Story Behind Creating Musakhan
The origin of Musakhan starts in Palestine, especially in Tulkarem, where this meal represents the first press of olive oil after the harvest. According to custom, Tulkarem Musakhan is consumed during the olive harvest season. However, this olive oil-rich dish is considered a Palestinian festive food served throughout the year at family celebrations and gatherings.
The Musakhan Rolls are just an updated version of traditional layered Msakhan which is usually topped with caramelized onions, drenched in olive oil, and layered with chicken seasoned with sumac. What is sumac you’re wondering? It’s a reddish-purple sour fruit that has been dried and pounded into a powder.
Wrapping them in rolls is not traditional, but it has gained popularity in the Middle East. It makes this olive oil-infused dish easily accessible for on-the-go lunches, is a no-mess way of serving it, and turns into the best Middle Eastern appetizer to go along with a larger spread.
Musakhan Recipe Variations
This easy musakhan recipe can be easily altered to suit every special diet and palate.
Starting off with the type of bread that wraps our delectable filling. You can choose any bread you have on hand, such as naan, Greek pita, pita bread, or even whole wheat tortillas. Those following a low-carb diet can also enjoy these incredible wraps with sumac chicken but with a little twist. Which would be using lettuce leaves instead of bread.
Musakhan rolls variations are endless, since lamb or shrimp can substitute chicken, and a dash of heat can be added to this Middle-Eastern roll-up dish!
This Palestinian roll-up recipe will not disappoint vegetarians! Since these rolls can be crafted to embrace a wide variety of well-seasoned roasted vegetables.
Useful Musakhan Rolls Tips
To speed up the browning process while frying onions, add a sprinkle of sugar.
Use a shrak or fajita-size flour tortilla for rolling. Shrak is also called markouk in some Middle Eastern countries. Tortilla or shrak bread is thinner so it’s easier to roll and makes for a crispier outer layer.
Fry the onions on low heat for the best result.
You can add a splash of some balsamic vinegar. This will help in balancing the flavors along with the brownish color of the onions.
Use a skillet instead of a saucepan when frying the onions. This will prevent onions from sticking.
If the onions are sticking in the pan, add a tablespoon of water.
You can make the mixture ahead of time and refrigerate for a few days. Heat and roll when ready to serve.
While cooking the chicken, slice the onions and cook in olive oil in a cast iron pan over medium-high heat until golden brown and softened, about 20-30 minutes.
Pour the chicken juices into the cooked onions for extra flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Bone-in chicken is the traditional choice that makes for the best juicy flavor. However, chicken thighs, chicken breasts, or drumsticks can be used too.
The ingredient would be sumac. It is dusted over the shredded chicken and onions. It gives a unique Middle Eastern taste and elevates the flavor of Musakhan Rolls.
Originating in the Tulkarm and Jenin area, musakhan is often considered the national dish of Palestine and a part of the Palestinian culinary heritage. The dish is particularly popular among Palestinians.
Indeed, sumac is healthy. It reduces blood pressure and is an apt choice for people who have liver problems.
They offer the delightful experience of meltingly tender chicken combined with the tangy zest of sumac and the sweetness of caramelized onion filling.
Place the tray of rolls in the freezer and thoroughly cover with plastic wrap. After frozen, take the rolls out of the freezer and stack them in a freezer-safe airtight container to keep them frozen for up to 3 months. Before baking, thaw them fully until they reach room temperature.
The ingredients in the traditional Palestinian Musakhan Rolls recipe embody warm, cozy rolls as follows:
Toasted pine nuts
For Chicken Poaching
Shrak or fajita size tortilla
Steps to Prepare The Most Toothsome Musakhan Ever
For the Stuffing
First, add the chicken to a pot along with spices for boiling.
Cover with cold water and place on high heat for 15 minutes, until boiling. Skim the foam and discard.
Then, lower the heat to medium and cover, letting the cook for another 20 minutes or until done.
Remove the chicken from the water and let it cool before shredding.
Now, slice the onions into halves. Then slice in the middle to make two thin wing sections. Add to a skillet on medium-low. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch them get a light pink color.
Once pink, add in the shredded chicken, along with the sumac, cinnamon, salt, and 7 spices. Mix well and add the oil.
Mix well and cook for another 7-10 minutes until the flavors are mixed and the onions are soft.
Add the toasted pine nuts and remove from heat.
Cut the shrak into rectangles, about 4 inches in length and 3 inches in width. If you’re using tortillas, cut them in half.
Add about 1½ tablespoons of filling to the bottom of your bread and fold the edge’s over.
Now, roll up like a burrito. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom of your pan and place the rolls seam-side down.
Then, pack them tightly. Brush with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top and bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes or until crispy. You can broil for a few minutes to get some more color.
Finally, serve Musakhan Rolls, with a garnish of parsley, pomegranate seeds, and pine nuts or toasted almonds. Enjoy with plain yogurt and Arabic Chopped Salad.
- 1¼ pound chicken breasts 2 large chicken breasts
- 2 large red onions
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons sumac
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon 7 spices
- 1¼ teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil for brushing
For Chicken Poaching
- ½ teaspoon cardamom or 2 pods
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon or ½ stick
- Shrak or fajita size tortilla
For Making the Filling
- Add the chicken to a pot along with spices for boiling.
- Cover with cold water and place on high heat for 15 minutes, until boiling. Skim the foam and discard.
- Lower the heat to medium and cover, letting then cook for another 20 minutes or until done.
- Remove the chicken from water and let it cool before shredding.
- Slice the onions into halves. Then slice in the middle to make two thin wing sections.
- Add to a skillet on medium low. Let them sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Watch them get light pink color.
- Once pink, add in the shredded chicken, along with the sumac, cinnamon, salt, and 7 spice. Mix well and add the oil.
- Mix well and cook for another 7-10 minutes until the flavors are mixed well and the onions are soft.
- Add the toasted pine nuts and remove from the heat.
Assembling the Rolls
- Cut the shark into rectangles, about 4 inches in length and 3 inches in width. If you're using tortilla, cut them in half.
- Add about 1½ tablespoons of filling to the bottom of your bread and fold the edge's over.
- Roll up like a burrito. Brush 1 tablespoon of olive oil on the bottom of your pan and place the rolls seam side down.
- Pack them tightly. Brush with another 2 tablespoons of olive oil on top and bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes or until crispy. You can broil for a few minutes to get some more color.
- To speed up the browning process while frying onions, add a sprinkle of sugar.
- Use a shark or fajita-size flour tortilla for rolling.
- Fry the onions on low heat for the best result.
- You can splash some balsamic vinegar. This will help in balancing the flavors along with the brownish color of the onions.
- Use a skillet instead of a saucepan when frying the onions. This will prevent onions from sticking.
- If the onions are sticking in the pan, add a tablespoon of water.