These dinner bowls are a modern twist on the beloved Lebanese chicken fatteh casserole. Lebanese-spiced poached chicken with toasted pita and mint yogurt sauce, served in dinner bowls with Lebanese rice and Mediterranean salad.
What is Fatteh?
In Arabic, the word “fatteh” literally means “crumbs,” referring to a genre of Middle Eastern foods where day-old toasted pita and other leftovers are re-purposed to create a new meal.
Fattoush salad is one popluar example of the myraid dishes that fall under “fatteh.” So does this Lebanese chicken fatteh recipe.
Lebanese Chicken Fatteh
Lebanese chicken fatteh is a simple but thoughtful combination of ingredients. It begins with poaching chicken breasts in water with aromatics like cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, cloves and bay leaves. Flavors already building!
Later, the chicken is shredded into bite-sized pieces and cooked briefly in a skillet with onions, garlic and more spices.
Traditionally, the spiced shredded chicken tops a layer of toasted pita bread. A generous amount of mint yogurt sauce, along with toasted pine nuts and almonds, make the very top layer of the Lebanese chicken fatteh casserole. And because every family has it’s own fatteh recipe, some include a layer of Lebanese rice.
I took a more modern approach to Lebanese chicken fatteh by converting the casserole into easy dinner bowls. Lebanese rice and this 3-ingredient Mediterranean salad added as sides to complete the dinner bowls.
Although there are a few steps to this recipe, this is truly an easy, unpretentious, and flavor-packed Lebanese chicken dinner. You can prepare it ahead and assemble in bowls when you are ready to serve.Print
These dinner bowls are a modern twist on the beloved Lebanese chicken fatteh casserole. Lebanese spiced poached chicken with toasted pita and mint yogurt sauce, served in dinner bowls with Lebanese rice and Mediterranean salad.
- 4 bone-in chicken breasts, skins removed
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 4 whole cardamom pods, lightly crushed
- 6 cloves
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 tsp sweet Spanish paprika
- 1 tsp ground sumac
- 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
- Fresh parsley leaves for garnish
- 2 loaves Lebanese pita bread, toasted in the oven until lightly brown, and broken into chips
Mint Yogurt Sauce
- 1 1/2 cup plain low-fat yogurt (not Greek yogurt)
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint (or 2-4 tbsp dried crushed mint)
- pinch salt
1 Lebanese Rice Recipe (optional)
1 Mediterranean Salad Recipe (optional)
- Prepare the mint yogurt sauce. Place the yogurt, garlic, mint, and salt in a small bowl. Mix with a fork until well-combined. Cover and refrigerate for now.
- If you like, prepare Lebanese rice according to this recipe and set aside. Prepare Mediterranean salad according to this recipe; cover and refrigerate for now.
- Arrange the chicken breasts in a single layer in the bottom of a heavy cooking pot or Dutch oven. Sprinkle with salt. Add apple cider vinegar, bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and cloves. Pour in enough cold water to cover the chicken by 1 inch or so.
- Place the pot of chicken on the stove-top over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Skim off the white foam that collects on the surface of the water. Turn heat to low, cover and cook another 15-20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through registering an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- With a slotted spoon, remove the chicken from the cooking broth and place on a cutting board to cool. Strain and reserve the broth for later or other use.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the bones and shred the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
- In a large cast iron skillet like this one, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for 4 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the chicken, paprika and sumac. Season with salt and pepper. Stir until the chicken is well-coated. Cook for 5-7 minutes until the chicken is warmed through.
- Remove from heat and add the toasted nuts. Garnish with fresh parsley leaves.
- To serve, divide toasted pita bread among serving bowls. Add the Lebanese chicken;top with a generous scoop of the mint yogurt sauce and more toasted nuts, if you like. If you’ve gone a step further and prepared the rice and salad, then make room to add them next to the Lebanese chicken fatteh (as in the photos above). Enjoy!
If you plan to serve the Lebanese chicken fatteh in bowls as we have here, budget an extra 25 minutes or so to prepare the Lebanese rice and Mediterranean salad. Otherwise, you can serve the Lebanese chicken fatteh in a casserole the traditional way. Begin with the toasted pita chips as the bottom layer, top with the chicken and then the mint yogurt sauce. Add the toasted nuts and garnish of parsley at the very end.
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