Chicken muhammara (Djej muhammara)

February 21, 2011  •  Category:


Cannot get any more down home than this! I had this dish very often one  summer while  in the mountains  preparing for my Arabic high school diploma exams. It was a welcome respite from studying; and with the tomato sauce, there is no need to add ketchup!

A traditional and rural  dish, revisited and spiced up a tiny bit.


  • 1 pound of chicken tender fillets or a chicken cut up in eight pieces
  • 6 ounces of small boiling onions
  • 1 pound of potatoes
  • 1 cup of tomato juice
  • olive oil, as needed
  • 1/2  cup of red pepper paste (optional)
  • 1 Tablespoon of pomegranate molasses
  • 1 teaspoon of mashed garlic
  • salt, pepper, seven-spice (optional), a dash of ground cinnamon


  1. Peel the potatoes, cut in chunks and store in a bowl filled with water. Boil some water and pour over the onions for two minutes; peel the onions and set aside.
  2. Heat some olive oil and brown the onions on all sides; add the chicken and brown on both sides. Add the potatoes, garlic, tomato sauce, red pepper paste, pomegranate molasses, salt, pepper, cinnamon, seven-spice, and about one cup of water. Cover the dish and bring to a simmer; let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Uncover the pan and let the sauce reduce for 15 minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings and serve.



34 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Eve@CheapEthnicEatz says:

    Hearty and rustic indeed, and the secret here is the pomegranate molasses again I am sure…look very satisfying!

  2. Devaki says:

    Oh this is lovely and as you know what a HUGE fan I am of your Muhammara sacue you know this one will be coming up on the menu soon. I adore your wonderful, hearty and incredibly soul-worthy dishes.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  3. Tom @ Tall Clover says:

    Hi Joumana, this is a new dish for me and one I can really sink my teeth into. I picked up some pomegranate molasses and have been wanting to try it out. Thanks!

  4. Hanaa says:

    You know, I have a bottle of Pomegranate Molasses and have never used it. This sounds like the perfect dish for it. I really like the vibrant color of this dish!

  5. arthur says:

    Hi Joumana, what an appetizing dish this is! We love chicken recipes like this at home! I have all the ingredients except for the pomegranate molasses but I’ll find a substitute in the meantime until i find the real thing. I just like to try new recipes for chicken and this one looks really delicious! Thanks for making this! Cheers!

  6. Chiara says:

    Joumana, this looks so tasty!A hug…

  7. Cherine says:

    You know I never had this dish. I loved the recipe and the addition of the pomegranate molasses. Bookmarked !

  8. Rosa says:

    That is a great combination, yummy!



  9. oum mouncifrayan says:

    mmmm, c’est très gourmand ça! bravo et merci du partage,
    je viens de voir l’article de Domi, c’est marrant d’avoir les MÊMES idées de recettes!!!!
    et je trouve que c’est gentil de sa part d’avoir posté un tel article..
    à bientot joumana!

  10. nammi says:

    lovely looking dish. Can i use pomergranate juice, instead of molasses. You know like concentrate it a little by reducing it or something.

  11. turkey's for life says:

    This looks like a great comfort dish – and I would certainly hope nobody would even consider getting the ketchup bottle out for this one! 🙂

  12. Florian says:

    Good idea, looks folk and yum all together 🙂

  13. Suman Singh says:

    This is new for me..looks very tempting! thanks for sharing..have a nice day ahead! tk care!

  14. Scienter says:

    Can you recommend a good brand of red pepper paste? I’ve seen recipes that call for it before and the only one I can find is in the Thai area of my grocery store. I use it in Thai recipes, but I’m not sure it’s the same thing that would belong in a Lebanese recipe.
    This is what I have: Thai Roasted Red Pepper Paste

  15. Joanne says:

    I’ve only ever seen muhammara used as a dip but i love the idea of using it to sauce chicken! Yum.

  16. 5 Star Foodie says:

    A terrific looking chicken, I love the use of pomegranate molasses here, such delicious flavors!

  17. Steve @ HPD says:

    i almost never have tomato juice in the house but this is the third recipe this month that i really want to try that calls for it.

    • Joumana says:

      @Steve: Just use a few tomatoes instead!
      @Scienter: I buy the red pepper paste from the middle-eastern store close to me; it is imported from Turkey, and I will get the name for you today; I am sure the Thai one you use is fine.
      @Nammi: sure, you can reduce the pomegranate juice and that would be fine!

  18. Kelly says:

    I’m definitely bookmarking this one. We love simple tasty dishes, and the pomegranate molasses has my curiosity piqued. Sounds delicious.

  19. domi says:

    Bonsoir Joumana, encore un nouveau plat pour moi avec ces mélanges tellement différents qui enchantent ta cuisine. Je ne connais pas la pâte de poivrons, ni la mélasse de grenades, je ne savait même pas que ça existait…. Je vais essayé de trouver ces articles dans une épicerie orientale, il y en a plein ici. Bisous

  20. blackbookkitchendiar says:

    this looks so gorgeous! love all the flavors in here:) thanks for sharing.

  21. Heavenly Housewife says:

    What a fabulous take on comfort food, your dishes are always so delicious!
    *kisses* HH

  22. senga50 says:

    Tomates et piment pour cette belle couleur cuivrée, un régal parfumé… Je viens de chez Domi et ai retrouvé avec joie vos recettes jumelles et si belles… même talent…

  23. Krista says:

    Scrumptious, Joumana! That is pure comfort food right there. 🙂 I like the idea of using the pearl onions instead of chopped up ones. 🙂

  24. Katerina says:

    I love muhammara and I love chicken so this makes double the pleasure from this dish.

  25. Priya says:

    This looks like a great comfort dish, delicious!

  26. john@heneedsfood says:

    I love this type of food. Simple and honest. The pomegranate must give it a nice zing.

  27. Erica says:

    The pomegranate sounds interesting!!!!Delicious dish!

  28. Magic of Spice says:

    Another dish my family would love, only pepper past would not be optional 🙂 Very comforting dish with wonderful flavors…

  29. SYLVIA says:

    This delectable chicken has a colorful mix of pepper paste and pomegranate molasses for a delicious result. Lean chicken breast has always ranked as a favorite, it’s a diet bargain especially for anyone watching their weight.

  30. Peter says:

    Love those small, sweet onions and the pomegranate molasses always adds a complexity I like.

  31. domi says:

    Comme souvent ( toujours ) un plat savoureusement original et ” ça m’oumara ” ouvert des horizons nouveaux, tant de saveurs dans un si petit plat c’ est ” tétonnant “, bisous ma belle et garde le moral, je suis là !!!

  32. Julia says:

    Yum–Delicious comfort food! I made this dish this dish twice for me and my boyfriend..
    I’m half-Turkish, and often buy spices at a halal market/shwarma shop around here..I got Arabic seven-spice recently, and have been trying to figure out the best way to use it–It worked wonderfully in this dish!! I know I’ll make this many more times 🙂

  33. domi says:

    Un plat de tendreté délicatement parfumé….

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