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The word "Musakhan" literally means being warmed up. Musakhan is one of the most popular and traditional Palestinian dishes. It is also very popular in Jordan. This dish has been passed down through generations, and I'm sure it will be for generations to come. It traditionally consists of chicken, fried onions seasoned with sumac, lots of olive oil, and bread. This meal is loaded with olive oil, I mean a lot!!! It is typically eaten with your hands.

Sumac is one of the main ingredients in Musakhan. It is a spice that comes from the berries of the Rhus shrubs. The berries are dried and then ground to give a deep maroon colored powder. It is sour, slightly fruity, and very beneficial to your health. It’s commonly used in the Arabic, Indian, Iranian, and Kurdish cuisines. Another main ingredient in this dish is the bread. Musakhan is usually made using taboon bread, an Arabic bread. However, if you can’t find taboon bread near you, try the Iranian Sangak bread or even the Indian Naan. If you can’t find any of those, try thick pita bread, but you won’t have the same results.


  • 2 pounds chicken breast, bone-in

  • 4 bays leaves

  • 10 green cardamon seeds

  • 1 teaspoon Bharat or all spice

  • 6 onions

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 2 black peppercorns

  • 2 cups olive oil

  • 1/4 teaspoon Bharat or all spice

  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon powder

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 1/4 cup sumac

  • Taboon, Sangak, or other bread listed in intro


  1. Boil chicken with bay leaves, cardamon, and 1 onion, 1 teaspoon Bharat, 2 black peppercorns, and 1 tablespoon salt.

  2. Meanwhile, dice remaining onions and fry chopped onions in 2 cups of oil.

  3. Once translucent, add 1/2 teaspoon Bharat, black pepper, red pepper, cinnamon, & 1 tablespoon salt. Toss well.

  4. Add sumac, mix well, & turn off heat.

  5. When chicken is boiled and cooked through, drain chicken. I usually keep the broth to use later.

  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

  7. Cut the bread into big pieces. Take each piece of bread and quickly dip in the oil of the onions. Layer them on a baking tray.

  8. Top bread with 1/2 of the onions.

  9. Top each piece of bread with a piece of chicken.

  10. Add remaining onions on top of chicken pieces.

  11. Place tray in oven for about 20-30 minutes or till bread is to your preference.

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