Spiced chicken topped with sautéed onions. Plate this over stone baked bread and you have a marvelous, authentic Palestinian meal!

Once upon a time, my father came home from work carrying 15 chickens and asked my mother to make Musakhan for the next day. My mother surprisingly asked him why he needed all of these chickens for her to make Musakhan for our family of nine. He answered her that he promised all of his coworkers to bring them a dish that only the people of Palestine know and make. So, my mother set to work cooking all the day the largest Musakhan for my father’s coworkers.

Every time my mother makes Musakhan she remembers this story. Musakhan is one of my favorite meals and I am blessed that we live in an age where I can make it any time of the year. Musahan is traditionally made in the month of October. This is because October is the month of picking olives and pressing them to produce oil. Palestinians makes Musakhan especially in October because the oil is pure and fresh. My mother used to tell me that when she was growing up, every morning, the neighbors usually asked each other about what they were having for lunch that day. In the Middle East, lunch is the larger meal for the day, while dinner is a smaller course. In October, Musakhan was always on the menu.

While olive and Musakhan season being in October is still relevant in Palestine today, I cook Musakhan for my family and friends not only in October but all year long. I’ve been making this dish for years, trying to perfect my mother’s Musakhan. It may never taste exactly like the delicious dish that my mother makes, but practice leads to perfection.

Learn how to make this delicious meal by watching my recipe video on my YouTube Channel. 

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Spiced chicken topped with sautéed onions. Plate this over stone baked bread and you have a marvelous, authentic Palestinian meal!
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  1. 2 big round Tanour bread*
  2. 2 chickens
  3. 4 onions
  4. 1 tsp 7 spices
  5. 1 tsp salt
  6. 1 tsp black pepper
  7. 1 tsp cardamom
  8. ½ tsp cinnamon
  9. ½ tsp safflower
  10. ¼ tsp cloves
  11. ¼ tsp nutmeg
  12. ¼ cup sumac
  13. ½ tsp cumin for the onions
  14. 1 head of garlic
  15. 1 lemon
  16. ½ cup olive oil with onions
  17. 1/3 cup corn oil with onions
  18. 1/3 cup corn oil with the chicken
  19. ¼ cup almonds
  1. Cut the chicken into 4 pieces each
  2. Soak chicken in water with salt & vinegar for about 30min
  3. Wash chicken and drain
  4. Peel the garlic and mash them
  5. Mix all the spices together
  6. Coat each piece of chicken with the mashed garlic
  7. Coat each piece of chicken with the spices mix
  8. Squeeze the lemon over the chicken
  9. Put the rest of spices on the side
  10. Peel the onions and slice them
  11. Put ½ cup of olive oil with 1/3 cup of corn oil in a pot
  12. Add 3 onions and sauté them
  13. Add the ½ tsp of cumin with the rest of spices over the onions
  14. Cook the onions until they are lightly golden or browned
  15. In another pot, put 1/3 cup of corn oil and add the chicken
  16. Cook the chicken until it is well done
  17. Place the chicken in an oven tray and broil them until they are golden red
Plating the dish
  1. Cut the Tanour bread into 8 slices each
  2. Dip each piece of bread into the chicken broth and then place on a round tray
  3. Drizzle each piece of bread with the sautéed onions
  4. Sprinkle sumac over it
  5. Add the chicken over the bread
  6. Garnish with sumac and toasted almonds
  1. * The traditional way to make this meal is with stone baked bread, but you may also use pita bread if this is your only option.
Tatreez: Stitching Cuisines

10 comments for “Musakhan

  1. Basim
    August 25, 2017 at 12:03 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this AMAZING recipe!! I can’t wait to cook it tomorrow!!

    • nireiqat
      November 6, 2017 at 9:17 pm

      Hello Basim,

      You are very welcome! I’m glad you enjoyed the recipe. How did the musakhan turn out? 🙂

  2. Jennie
    November 11, 2017 at 6:40 am

    We are so looking forward to trying this! How long do you soak the chicken in water and vinegar??

    • Noha
      November 11, 2017 at 10:03 pm

      Hello Jennie,

      I soak the chicken for about 30 minutes. Let me know how it turns out! 🙂

  3. Manon
    May 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    I really like the flavor of this dish but i’m Vegetarian and was wandering if you have a suggestion to replace the chicken? I was thinking using lentils perhaps!?
    Thank you

    • Noha
      April 7, 2019 at 9:27 pm

      Thank you for your support! 🙂 Traditionally, Musakhan is only made with chicken. Using lentils sounds like another dish. Personally, I haven’t tried, but let me know if you do! I hope you’ll try making my other vegetarian and vegan dishes. 🙂

  4. August 30, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    Shookran for sharing this delicious Palestinian dish! I love musakhan! I tried making it this evening, and although it will never taste as good as my Tata and aunts make it, we all loved it, especially my toddlers and husband! Eid Mubarak!❤️

    • Noha
      April 7, 2019 at 9:18 pm

      Salaam Lana! So happy you tried my recipe! You’re right. It will never come out as tasty as our mother or grandmother’s food. 🙂 I hope that you enjoy more of my recipes.

  5. Sara
    February 4, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    How long do you cook the chicken for? This looks amazing

    • Noha
      April 7, 2019 at 9:22 pm

      Hi Sara! Sorry for my delayed response. You need to cook the chicken until it’a well done. Depending on the amount of chicken you are cooking, I would say about 30-40 min. Use a fork to check if the chicken is ready. 🙂

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