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Musakhan sumac chicken assembled and served with salad

Musakhan: Sumac Chicken and Caramelized Onion Flatbread

  • Author: Suzy Karadsheh
  • Total Time: 1 hour and 35 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6


This warm, savory Musakhan sumac chicken with caramelized onion flatbread will wow your taste buds in the best way possible! A Traditional Palestinian roast chicken dish, perfectly flavored and roasted to tender perfection, served with sweet caramelized onions, flatbread, and pine nuts.

Be sure to check out the step-by-step photos above.



For Spice Mixture

For Chicken

  •  6 chicken legs, bone-in, skin on (if you like, divide the legs to thighs and drumsticks. You can also use chicken breast pieces, if you prefer.)
  • Extra virgin olive oil (I used Greek Private Reserve EVOO)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • 1 1/2 tsp of spice mixture above

For Flatbread

  • Extra virgin olive oil (Greek Private Reserve EVOO again)
  •  6 yellow onions, chopped
  • Kosher slat
  • 1 tbsp sumac, more for later
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  •  2 tsp of spice mixture above
  • Toasted pine nuts, about 1/3 cup or more to your liking
  • 6 flatbread such as Taboon bread, Greek pita bread, or naan


  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (or 190 degrees C)
  2. Make the spice mixture. In a small bowl, combine allspice, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, cardamom and nutmeg. Mix well.
  3. Prepare and cook the chicken. Pat chicken pieces dry and place them on a lightly oiled sheet pan (or roasting pan). Drizzle generously with extra virgin olive oil, season with kosher salt on both sides. Add 1 tsp sumac and 1 ½ tsp of the spice mixture. Give the chicken a good rub with your hands, making sure to get the spices underneath the skin. Arrange the chicken pieces skin side up and place on the middle rack of your heated oven. Roast for about 1 hour or until fully cooked (internal temperature should register 165 degrees F.)
  4. Prepare caramelized onion mixture for flatbread. While the chicken is roasting, work on the caramelized onions. In a large cooking skillet, put just over ½ cup extra virgin olive oil, chopped onions, kosher salt, 1 tbsp sumac, 1 tbsp cumin, and 2 tsp of the spice mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, adding a little bit of water (2tbsp or so at a time) as needed, until the onions have softened and cooked completely (about 30 to 40 minutes). Remove from heat.
  5. Check on the chicken, and if ready, remove from the oven. Pour any roasting pan juices into the caramelized onions. Cover chicken loosely with aluminum foil for about 15 minutes, while you assemble the flatbreads.
  6. Assemble Musakhan Flatbreads. Turn on your broiler. To assemble flatbreads, dip the edges of each bread in the oil on the surface of the onion mixture. Arrange flatbreads on a large baking sheet (you may do a couple flatbreads at a time). Spread enough of the caramelized onion mixture on the surface of each flatbread, leaving a small border around the edge (like pizza). Add a generous sprinkle of sumac. Add toasted pine nuts. Place under the broiler briefly (2 to 4 mins), watching carefully, until edges and onion mixture are nicely browned.
  7. To Serve Musakhan. When flatbreads are ready, top each with a chicken portion and serve along with a side of olives and simple Mediterranean salad.


  • Cook's Tip to Prepare Ahead: You can season the chicken and refrigerate uncooked for 1 night. You can also prepare and cook the onions in the skillet 1 night in advance, keep in the fridge in air-tight container. When you are ready, follow the recipe for roasting the chicken and assembling the musakhan.
  • Visit our Online Shop for sumac and spices and extra virgin olive oils used in this recipe!
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Roasted
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Musakhan, Sumac Chicken, Palestinian recipe


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