Prep 20 mins
Cook 2 hrs
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.
- 2 whole chicken, about 2 lb each
- salt and pepper
- 1⁄3 cup olive oil
- 3 medium red onions, sliced
- 3 teaspoons sumaq
- 2 arab flat bread (khoubiz) or 2 pita breads, plain
- Wash then wipe the chickens dry with paper towels.
- Rub them inside and out with salt and pepper, then tuck and tie the wings under the body.
- 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.
- Add remaining oil to the pan and saute the onion, stirring, until clear.
- Sprinkle the sumak over the onion, cooking another 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Split each khoubz or pita bread in half, making 4 halves.
- Place two slightly overlapping in the base of a baking dish large enough to hold both chickens.
- 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.
- 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.
- This bread covering is what keeps the chicken very moist and flavorful.
- Bake in moderate oven (about 350) for 1 1/2 hours or until chickens are cooked through and tender.
- If the bread browns too much or ack, begins to burn, you can place a piece of foil over the tops to avoid this.
- Serve cut into portions with some of the bread if you wish.
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.