Meltingly tender chicken with the lemony flavor of summak and the sweetness of caramelized onions, Musakhan is a favorite dish of Palestinians everywhere! This meal is a symbol of self-sufficiency in rural Palestine, and is traditionally eaten with the fingers. Some farmers call it the olive season's meal, because so much olive oil is used in this dish. Its ingredients are available in any Arabic Store at minimum costs, making a delicious and healthy meal.
- 1 chicken
- 6 large onions
- 2 loafs of "Taboun bread"*
- 250 ml of Rumi/Nabali olive oil
- 1 pack of Canaan's almonds
- Spices: salt, pepper, summak (available in Arabic stores), allspice. Optional: cardamom, bay leaves, and nutmegs.
* Taboun bread is the traditional Palestinian bread baked over hot stones. It can be bought at some bakeries and major supermarkets. An adequate replacement is the "Shrak" bread, which is another traditional bread that is extremely thin and baked over a round hot plate.
To prepare chicken:
- Clean the chicken with lemon and cut it into 4 - 6 pieces.
- Cut one onion in small pieces and fry it in one-tablespoon olive oil until golden.
- Add chicken pieces to fried onions and turn it over in the pot adding salt, pepper, and allspice to taste. (You could add cardamom, bay leaves and nutmegs for a more interesting taste.)
- Add 2 cups of water and cook on medium-high heat until water boils, then turn heat down and cook until tender.
- When chicken is well done, remove the pieces from the water and place in a grilling pan, adding one onion cut into small pieces with salt, pepper, and a good handful of "Summak". Grill in the oven.
To prepare bread:
- Cut four onions into small-medium size pieces.
- Deep-fry the onions with 1 cup of olive oil over medium heat stirring occasionally until the onions are tender, but not browned. Add one good handful of 'Summak’ and stir to mix Cook till onions are cooked through (very soft, but not browned)
- On the side, fry almonds in 1 tbsp of olive oil until golden
- Dip full round bread (You can also cut your bread in any size) in the onion oil, and place it on a plate. Then, pour some of the onion mixture on top of the bread. Traditionally, the breads topped with onion are stacked on top of each other in a large serving platter, topped with the chicken pieces. But you can place each serving in guest's plate topped with a chicken piece separately.
- Add fried almonds on the Musakhan, and serve with either yogurt or salad!