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.
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