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roasted chicken thigh with sumac on a musakhan bread with toasted almonds.
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4.89 from 9 votes

Musakhan: Palestinian sumac chicken

A Palestinian traditional recipe of roast chicken with sumac with a flavorful onion and almonds sauce.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle East, Palestinian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 831.7kcal
Author: Amira


For cooking the chicken:

  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil.
  • 1 medium onion diced.
  • 1 whole chicken cut into 8 parts or 8 of any bone in chicken you prefer.
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 3 cardamom cloves crushed just to open.
  • Boiled water to cover.

For the caramelized onion:

  • 3/4 - 1 cup olive oil.
  • 5 (950g) yellow onions.
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin.
  • 1 teaspoon salt.
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper.
  • 1 Tablespoon allspice.
  • 2 Tablespoons ground sumac or to your taste.
  • 1 cup (175g) blanched roasted almonds.
  • 6 Taboon bread Greek bread or naan.


Cook the chicken:

  • Heat olive oil in a deep pot and sauté onion for a couple of minutes until translucent.
  • Add the chicken and brown all around.
  • Add salt, pepper, bay leaves and cardamom.
  • Cover with boiled water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer until fully cooked.
  • Take the chicken out and set aside. Strain the broth and also set aside.

Make the caramelized onion:

  • In a skillet over medium heat pour the olive oil, add onion and cook until lightly caramelized. About 5 minutes.
  • Add the spices except for the sumac and roasted almonds.
  • Add one and a half cup of the chicken broth we’ve just made to the mix. Turn heat off and leave to cool down a bit.

Broil the chicken:

  • Take the chicken we’ve just cooked and dip them in the onion mixture.
  • Arrange the chicken on a baking sheet, sprinkle with sumac and broil until golden brown.

Prepare the bread:

  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Dip each bread piece in the onion mixture then using a slotted spoon take some of the onion and spread over the bread. Sprinkle with sumac.
  • Bake the bread in the oven until just golden brown and crispy.

Assemble the Musakhan:

  • Place bread on top of each other then place chicken over or serve each piece of bread topped with chicken.


Serving suggestions:
Serve the chicken musakhan with a side of green salad, tabouli, baba ganoush, tahini or hummus.
Nutrition does not include the bread and based on using pink salt.
Please check the nutrition disclaimer policy.


Calories: 831.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 13.6g | Protein: 52.1g | Fat: 65g | Saturated Fat: 14.7g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 37.2g | Cholesterol: 225.9mg | Sodium: 594.6mg | Potassium: 369.7mg | Sugar: 5.7g