Lunch and Dinner, Main Dishes, Middle Eastern Recipes, Palestinian Cuisine

Authentic Palestinian Musakhan Recipe

Middle Eastern Musakhan topped with juicy tender chicken and fried pine nuts

Traditional Palestinian Musakhan Recipe is the epitome of a warm cozy chicken dish. It is a warm-your-heart juicy Middle Eastern chicken meal that is flavor-packed with sumac and caramelized onions. It will definitely dazzle your taste buds.

This traditional Middle-Eastern dish is known far and wide as a national Palestinian plate. This incredible recipe features tender chicken marinated in an aromatic blend of sumac, olive oil, seven spices, garlic powder, ground coriander, and salt. It is then brought to life by onions caramelized to perfection with sumac and olive oil, finally topped with crunchy pine nuts.

Savor every bit!


Mouth-Watering Palestinian Musakhan Recipe!

Delicious Musakhan on Taboon with plenty of sumac, caramelized onions, and pine nuts makes the perfect  delicious dish

A delicious Palestinian roasted chicken that will fill you up!


What is Sumac?

Sumac (also called Sumach) is originally a flowering plant. In Arabic, it is called “Summaq” which means dark red or crimson. These plants grow in East Asia, North America, and Africa. Sumac is very popularly used as a spice. Also, it has medicinal properties and in some areas of the world is used as an anti-inflammatory remedy.

Sumac has a sour acidic taste which adds zest to salads, fish, and roasted or grilled meat.  


Useful Tips

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.

Fry the onions on low heat for the best result.

To speed up the browning process while frying onions, add a sprinkle of sugar.

You can splash some balsamic vinegar. This will help in balancing the flavors along with the brownish color of the onions.

The best time to cook authentic Palestinian Musakhan is during olive oil season!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What nuts can I add on top of the sumac-spiced Musakhan?

You can decorate the top of your dish, in addition to pine nuts, by adding cashew nuts, raisins, and almonds.

What Chicken to use?

Bone-in chicken is the traditional choice that makes the best juicy flavor. However, chicken thighs, chicken breast, or drumsticks can be used, too.

Can I replace sumac with other spices?

Of course! First, separate the chicken from the flatbread. Then, put it in an airtight container in the fridge for three days.

Is sumac a healthy spice?

Indeed, sumac is healthy. It reduces blood pressure and is an apt choice for people who have liver problems.

What to serve with Musakhan?

Musakhan chicken is often paired with traditional sides such as a plate of fresh veggies, crunchy pickles, olives, and a fresh bowl of salad. You can definitely choose to have authentic tabouleh or any seasonal salad.


Our Beloved Middle Eastern Musakhan!

Juicy Middle Eastern Musakhan made with olive oil, sour onions, sweet taste of pine and succulent taste of chicken.
Juicy yet tender chicken Musakhhan dish!

How to Make the Perfect Traditional Palestinian Musakhan

GOOD QUALITY olive oil is a necessity. Palestinian olive oil is so rich and robust in flavor, and it is perfect for Musakhan.

GOOD QUALITY sumac is essential. Sumac is tangy and has a tiny bit of natural salt. It’s grown in abundance in Palestine and is the star of this dish.

BREAD: Traditionally, you’ll need Taboon (Palestinian bread baked in a rock/in-ground oven). However, because it’s not readily available here across the U.S, plain Naan works as a wonderful substitute. So, Musakhan bread alternatives are easy to find!

ONIONS: I LOVE using red onions for Musakhan rather than yellow onions. Red onions naturally have a slightly sweeter taste, and the combination of the onions and tangy Sumac creates a flavorful dish.


Let’s Get in the Kitchen, Shall we?

For the Palestinian Musakhan Traditional Recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Red Onion

Olive oil

Chicken bullion powder

Sumac

Pine Nuts

Taboon or plain Naan (bread)

Chicken

Additional Spices

Musakhan Chicken

Small chickens

Olive oil

Sumac

7 Spices

Ground Coriander

Garlic

Salt


Palestinian chicken Musakhan on Taboon with plenty of sumac, caramelized onions, pine nuts, and finely chopped fresh parsley
It will definitely dazzle your taste buds

Instructions

Musakhan Onions

First, dice your onions. The onions should not be neither finely chopped nor coarsely chopped. They also should not be sliced into thin wings.

Next, sauté onions on low heat. At this point, there should not be any oil in the pot. After about 15-20 minutes, the onions should look soft and have a bright pink color to them.

Then, add the olive oil and mix. The heat should still be on low.

After, add the spices and mix once again.

Next, you want to cook on medium-low heat for 30 minutes.

Finally, spread a layer over the bread, then sprinkle sumac and nuts and repeat.

Musakhan Chicken

Preheat your oven to 450 Fahrenheit.

Cut the chicken into your desired pieces. Typically, chicken for Musakhan is cut either into 2 halves (of a whole chicken) or into 4 pieces.

Pat dry with a paper towel.

Mix the spices together with the olive oil, then brush onto each chicken piece, making sure to get the underside.

Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure the chicken is not tightly packed so it has enough room to crisp up.

Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 1 hour, then uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, so the skin gets crispy and develops a golden-brown color.

Assemble the Musakhan once the onions are cooked.

Start with 1 Naan or Taboon. Using a slotted spoon, take some onions and spread them on top. Depending on the size of your bread, add enough to reach the edges but not enough to pile it in the middle.

Sprinkle some sumac all around.

Scatter some toasted or pan-fried pine nuts.

Serve each person their own piece of bread topped with a piece of chicken, or layer multiple bread pieces on top of each other.

Add the chicken on the final top layer. For gatherings, recommend layering them on top of each other.

Cut pieces as desired. You’d need 10 large pieces of bread.


Must-Try Recipes:

Green Bean and Lamb Stew

Palestinian Purslane Stew Recipe

Fattet Betenjan

Lebanese Fried Kibbeh Recipe

Macarona Bil Bechamel (Bechamel Pasta Bake)

Authentic Muhammara Recipe

Middle Eastern Restaurant-Style Chicken

Chicken Gyros with Tzatziki Sauce

Authentic Tandoori Chicken Recipe

Arabic Chopped Salad (Salata Arabiyeh)


If you’ve tried this recipe, don’t forget to rate it and leave a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience. You can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.


Delicious Musakhan on Taboon with plenty of sumac, caramelized onions, and pine nuts makes the perfect delicious dish

Authentic Palestinian Musakhan Recipe

Fatimah
Musakhan is famously known as the national dish of Palestine. It is a dish that is easy for everyone to prepare. The zesty flavors and heartiness of the meal makes it popular worldwide!
5 from 13 votes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Palestinian
Servings 6
Calories 2408 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 8 large red onions medium chopped
  • 2 cups extra virgin olive oil
  • Chicken bullion powder to taste
  • cup sumac good quality
  • Pine nuts fried or toasted
  • Taboon or Plain Naan bread
  • 3 small chickens
  • Additional spices For the chicken

Musakhan Chicken

  • 3 small chickens
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sumac
  • 1 tablespoon 7 spices
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons salt

Instructions
 

  • Cut the onions and sauté in a pan on low heat. Keep mixing until the onions become soft, have a bright pink color to them, and have released all their water. Keep mixing and add spices. Spread the onions on the bread. Sprinkle sumac and nuts, and repeat.
  • Preheat your oven to 450 Fahrenheit. Chicken for Musakhan is cut either into 2 halves (of a whole chicken) or into 4 pieces. Then, dry it with a paper towel.
  • Mix the spices together with the olive oil, then brush onto each chicken piece from all sides. Place onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, making sure the chicken is not tightly packed so it has enough room to crisp up.
  • Cover with aluminum foil, and bake for about 1 hour, then uncover and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, so the skin gets crispy and develops a golden-brown color.
  • Start with 1 Naan or Taboon. Using a slotted spoon, take some onions and spread on top. Depending on the size of your bread, add enough to reach the edges but not so much that it piles up in the middle.
  • Sprinkle some sumac all around and some fried pine nuts.
  • Serve each chicken on a bread piece topped for one person or layer multiple bread pieces on top of each other. Then, add the chicken on the final top layer. For gatherings, I recommend layering them on top of each other, then cutting pieces as desired.

Notes

  • You can find Sumac online or in most Middle Eastern grocery stores.
  • You can make Taboon or buy it, but Naan is a perfect alternative.

Nutrition

Calories: 2408kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 132gFat: 199gSaturated Fat: 45gPolyunsaturated Fat: 34gMonounsaturated Fat: 108gCholesterol: 657mgSodium: 2861mgPotassium: 1739mgFiber: 3gSugar: 6gVitamin A: 6440IUVitamin C: 29mgCalcium: 119mgIron: 11mg
Keyword Authentic musakhan chicken, Falasteenie, Palestinian musakhan recipe
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

15 thoughts on “Authentic Palestinian Musakhan Recipe

  1. Layan says:

    5 stars
    Probably the best tasting msakhan I ever had

  2. Fatema batan says:

    5 stars
    My first time attempt at making musakhan and I absolutely loved it, its packed with aromatic flavours and simply delicious. The recipe was very easy to follow, shukran @falasteenifoodie- keep those amazing recipes coming 💖

    1. Fatimah says:

      Thank you so much! Glad you loved it

  3. Karawan says:

    5 stars
    Loved this recipe. It came together so easily and was so good.

  4. Zaina says:

    5 stars
    Loved the musakhan recipe! My family said it was it delicious. Appreciate you sharing it!

  5. Sara says:

    5 stars
    I can eat this dish everyday😩😩😩my absolute fav recipe 🤩🤩🤩

  6. Lujain says:

    5 stars
    I decided to try red onions as im used to only using yellow, like how I was taught. Red onions are a game changer!! Thank you for sharing this

  7. Reema says:

    5 stars
    Most comforting meal !

  8. UmMohammad says:

    5 stars
    I cannot tell u how much this saved me when I first got married and my husband was craving this. I’ve never made it my mom used to do it all the time and this totally came in handy and still does till this day.

  9. Umm Hamza says:

    5 stars
    Very easy to follow instructions and the family loved the meal!

  10. Nasreen says:

    5 stars
    My family really loves this dish! Thank you for sharing !

  11. Rachel Stewart says:

    5 stars
    Delicious!! I’ll making this over and over. 😋 🇵🇸

  12. Laura says:

    5 stars
    Amazing!! Love the red onions. Thank you for sharing this beautiful dish!! ❤️🍉🇵🇸

  13. Imane says:

    What do you mean when you say additional spices?? What do you recommend?

    1. Fatimah says:

      hi! Its just referring to the additional spices needed for the chicken 🙂 Sorry for the confusion!

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