Mousakhan (palestinian chicken)

READY IN: 2hrs 20mins
Recipe by alAmira

Something my great grandma passed to her daughter who passed it to my father and I. Though it is a bit oily, it is so good. The sumak gives it a touch of lemoniness, and the method makes this the absolute most tender chicken I've ever had.

Top Review by chef FIFI

Very typical middle eastern dish. I always make sure I add extra sumac, I love the tartness of it. To cut down on the oilyness of the dish, I season and bake the chicken, then sautee my onion in the sumac, I take the chicken out when it is done and put the chicken on top of the bread, then I spread the onions over the chicken trying to omit as much oil as I can. Thanks for posting this delicious recipe.

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 whole chicken, about 2 lb each
  • salt and pepper
  • 13 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium red onions, sliced
  • 3 teaspoons sumaq
  • 2 arab flat bread (khoubiz) or 2 pita breads, plain


  1. Wash then wipe the chickens dry with paper towels.
  2. Rub them inside and out with salt and pepper, then tuck and tie the wings under the body.
  3. Heat half the oil in a large skillet and fry the chickens one at a time until lightly browned all over, turning often, then set aside.
  4. Add remaining oil to the pan and saute the onion, stirring, until clear.
  5. Sprinkle the sumak over the onion, cooking another 2 minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Split each khoubz or pita bread in half, making 4 halves.
  8. Place two slightly overlapping in the base of a baking dish large enough to hold both chickens.
  9. Place a mound of onion in the center of each, using about a quarter of the onion mix only, and place a chicken on top of each, and spread remaining onion mix over the chicken evenly.
  10. Pour the oil from the pan over the chicken, then cover with remaining bread, making sure to tuck it around the chicken as best as you can.
  11. This bread covering is what keeps the chicken very moist and flavorful.
  12. Bake in moderate oven (about 350) for 1 1/2 hours or until chickens are cooked through and tender.
  13. If the bread browns too much or ack, begins to burn, you can place a piece of foil over the tops to avoid this.
  14. Serve cut into portions with some of the bread if you wish.

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