Annika Eats

Chicken Musakhan

This is a traditional Palestinian recipe. A one pot wonder recipe that is simple to make and a perfect meal filled with sumac and spices, onions, lemons and parsley.

The beauty about this recipe apart from its bold flavors are the simplicity of ingredients. We don’t need fancy equipment to make this either. I first tried this recipe at a friends house and was blown away by the taste and over all combination of flavors. The chicken was juicy and soft while the skin was crispy and the dry spices had formed a little crust on the top. The flatbread at the bottom had soaked all those delicious chicken juices, yogurt, olive oil from the onions and the lemon juice as well making for the best part of the meal. 

One of the major reasons I love this recipe is that is comes together in les than 30 minutes and makes for a yummy dinner or lunch main course. Serve it with a salad, fried potatoes and some roasted veggies to make it a fitting feast for a crowd. 

I MUST ADMIT, while shooting this recipe I made a pretty big mistake. Instead of saying Chicken MUSAKHAN I said Chicken MUSKHAN. There is no such thing as Chicken MUSKHAN and there is no good enough reason as to why I said that apart from the fact that it was a long day, I was exhausted and didn’t have enough sleep. Also, Muskhan in Hindi is smile so I kept thinking it is a smiling chicken. Well it was too late to change the footage so this is my disclaimer/apology if my pronunciation affects/offends anyone.

What ingredients do you need to make this Chicken Musakhan?

Chicken –

I like using chicken quarters which is the leg and thigh joint. You could use legs or thighs on their own if you like. But you need to use the leg and or thigh to make this dish. 

Spices –

There are a mixture of spices that make this recipe come together. I have used sumac, garam masala, cinnamon powder, cumin powder and pepper powder. Some recipes don’t call for cinnamon powder but I love the addition of it. You need the spices to make this recipe and don’t skip on it. 

Onions & garlic –

The dish requires you to caramelize onions and garlic. This is done in olive oil and many recipes don’t call for the garlic but I like the addition, however the garlic is optional though. 

Olive oil –

The olive oil is used to fry the chicken, toast the pine nuts and sauté the onions. The flavor is completely different with any other oil, it is best to use good olive oil here. 

Pine nuts –

You can use any nuts you like but these pine nuts are traditional to the dish and I would recommend using them, they add flavor and crunch to the recipe. 

To serve –

The dish is served with flatbread, ideally kuboos, yogurt, lemons and parsley. I would suggest whipping the yogurt well before spreading it over the bread for that creamy texture 

What equipment do you need to make the Chicken Musakhan?

We need a plate to marinate the chicken, a frying pan to cook the chicken and a small sauté pan to toast the pine nuts and caramelize the onions. Serve it on a platter that is perfect for people to dig in and share from. 

How to make the Chicken Musakhan?

We start by washing and patting dry our chicken. In a plate add the dried chicken, using a knife poke holes into the chicken. Add salt, black pepper, a tsp of lemon juice, olive oil and let it marinate for a few minutes. Add most of the dry spices and rub it into the chicken really well. Add some more oil on the chicken and in a medium frying pan on high heat add the chicken pieces. Cook for a couple of  minutes on each side until colored. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through. 

While this is happening, in a small sauté pan on medium heat toast the pine nuts in some olive oil until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool. In the same pan add the sliced onions and more olive oil. Add salt and stir. Add the minced garlic and some of the leftover spices. Stir and cook until soft and translucent. It shouldn’t smell like raw onions any more. 

To serve, get a large platter, place the flat bread at the bottom, spread the yogurt on top, add the onion mixture everywhere. Place the chicken joints over the onions, add some parsley, lemon juice and the pine nuts. Serve hot and enjoy. 

How to store the Chicken Musakhan?

If you have leftovers, you can shred it and keep the meat for sandwiches, wraps or a quiche. I would store the chicken in an air tight container for 2 days in the fridge. The flavor intensifies though which makes it yummier. Extra pine nuts and onions can be kept in air tight container in the fridge as well for 4-5 days. 

Now that we have covered how to pronounce and make this Chicken Musakhan, let us get into the kitchen. Happy Cooking Ninjas!

Chicken Musakhan

This is a traditional Palestinian recipe. A one pot wonder recipe that is simple to make and a perfect meal filled with sumac and spices, onions, lemons and parsley.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Course Main Course, Brunch, Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine Middle Eastern, Palestine
Servings 4 people

Equipment

  • Plate
  • Knife
  • Medium frying pan
  • Tongs
  • Small sauté pan
  • Serving platter

Ingredients
  

  • 4 Chicken quarters leg and thigh
  • 100 ml Olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Cumin powder
  • 3 tbsp Sumac powder
  • 1/4 tsp Cinnamon powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala powder
  • 45 gm Pine nuts
  • 2 large Onions
  • 2 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Lemon
  • Salt & Pepper

To serve:

  • Flatbread
  • Parsley
  • Yogurt

Instructions
 

  • We start by washing and patting dry our chicken. In a plate add the dried chicken, using a knife poke holes into the chicken. Add salt, black pepper, a tsp of lemon juice, olive oil and let it marinate for a few minutes. A
  • dd most of the dry spices and rub it into the chicken really well. Save the rest of the dry spices for later. Add some more oil on the chicken and in a medium frying pan on high heat add the chicken pieces. Cook for a couple of minutes on each side until colored. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for 20 mins until the chicken is cooked through.
  • While this is happening, in a small sauté pan on medium heat toast the pine nuts in some olive oil until golden brown. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
  • In the same pan add the sliced onions and more olive oil. Add salt and stir. Add the minced garlic and some of the leftover spices. Stir and cook until soft and translucent. It shouldn’t smell like raw onions any more.
  • To serve, get a large platter, place the flat bread at the bottom, spread the yogurt on top, add the onion mixture everywhere. Place the chicken joints over the onions, add some parsley, lemon juice and the pine nuts. Serve hot and enjoy.

Notes

  • If the chicken is not cooked/tough/pink inside, cook it longer. The cooking time can vary depending on the size of the chicken joint.

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