Chicken Musakhan

Another sheet pan dinner easy and delicious.

There’s a new guest chef in town over at the cooking club and I haven’t made many of his recipes from “Falastin A Cookbook” so tonight is going to be an interesting dinner, something new for a spring dinner and also on the menu is his recipe for Fattoush with buttermilk dressing. Both dishes are loaded with fresh herbs and perky seasonings. Tamimi’s recipe link is listed below

Of course I didn’t have the sumac that is called for in the recipe so I searched for a good substitute and ended up with a lemon pepper and lemon zest combo that worked for me until my order for sumac arrives and I will try the recipe again in the near future. It was a fun dinner whether one used a knife & fork or plucked off chunks of chicken to tuck into large chunks of flatbread and don’t skip the dunk into the sauce on the platter. A new delicious recipe for the keeper file favorites…

Warm flat bread to serve with the chicken

1 chicken (3-3/4 to 4 pounds), cut into 8 pieces and if checken breasts are large, cut them in half

1/2 cup olive oil, plus 2 or 3 tablespoons (divided)

1 tablespoon ground cumin (divided)

3 tablespoons sumac (divided)

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

Salt and black pepper

1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted

3 medium red onions, thinly sliced 1/8 inch/3 millimeter thick (500 grams)

1/4 cup parsley leaves, roughly chopped

1 1/4 cups Greek yogurt

1 lemon, cut into wedges


1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and line a small bowl with a paper towel. My oven runs very hot so I cut the temperature back to 400.

2. Place the chicken pieces in a large mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon of the cumin, 1 1/2 teaspoon of the sumac, plus the cinnamon, the allspice, 1 teaspoon of salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Mix well to combine, then spread lay the chicken pieces on the prepared baking sheet. Roast until the chicken is cooked through, about 45 minutes. Remove it from the oven and set it aside. Don’t discard any juices that have collected in the pan.

3. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil into a large sauté pan and place over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the nuts are golden brown. Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to the paper-towel-lined bowl, leaving the oil in the pan, and set aside. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil to the pan, along with the onions and 3/4 teaspoons of salt. Return to medium heat and cook for about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time, until the onions are completely soft and pale golden but not caramelized. Add 2 tablespoons of the sumac, the remaining 2 teaspoons of cumin and a grind of black pepper and mix well, until the onions are completely coated. Remove from the heat and set aside.

4. When ready to assemble the dish, preheat the broiler. Slice or tear the bread into fourths or sixths, place the pieces on another baking sheet and slide it under the broiler for 2 to 4 minutes, until the bread is crisp. Arrange the bread pieces on a large platter and strew half of the onions over it, followed by the chicken pieces and any chicken juices left on the baking sheet. Either keep each piece of chicken as it it or roughly shred each into two or three large chunks as you plate up. Strew the remaining onions over the top and sprinkle with the pine nuts, parsley, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of sumac and a final drizzle of oil. Serve at once, with the yogurt and lemon wedges alongside.