A faster and easier version of the famous Palestinian dish called musakhan (meaning : to be heated in Arabic). Two essential features of this dish: sumac, and lots of it; caramelized onions, lots of them; chicken is presented encased in a thin Arabic bread, all juicy inside and piping hot from the oven.
If you are not up to the challenge of baking the extra-thin, lavash-style bread needed for this dish, you can use flour tortillas or thin pita bread or as I did, frozen Turkish thin bread dough. It comes pre-cut in triangles and can be found in the freezer section at the middle-eastern grocer.
This dish, while simple, really showcases the tangy and delicate flavor of sumac and caramelized onions; toasted pine nuts are often sprinkled on top and it can be served with a yogurt and cucumber salad.
What is sumac? It is a spice derived from a bush with red berries; it grows in North America and in other parts of the world. Native Americans used to smoke it! In the middle-east, it is used to flavor foods; it has a lemony taste and a reddish color.
- 1 pound of chicken thighs, deboned (or debone them yourself)
- 1 1/2 pounds of red or yellow onions, sliced in rings
- dash of sugar, salt and white pepper, allspice and cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons of sumac, plus one more for the onions
- 1 scant cup of chicken broth
- 12 small flour tortillas or Turkish pastry leaves or 6 pita breads, split in half
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts, toasted or fried in a dab of butter or oil till golden
- olive oil, as needed
- Cut the chicken thighs in small even-sized bits. Sprinkle salt, pepper, cinnamon, allspice and the sumac on the chicken.
- Slice the onions and fry in some olive oil till caramelized, adding a dash of sugar to help the process.
- Remove the onions and set aside, add more oil and fry the chicken for 10 minutes, stirring every so often; add some chicken broth and cook for a few more minutes.
- Place a large piece of foil on a cookie sheet. Pour some melted butter and oil in a small bowl and set a brush on the bowl. (or use only olive oil if you want)
- Take one wrap and brush it entirely with butter or oil on one side; flip it to the other side and place a couple of tablespoons of chicken bits, plus some sliced onions, a sprinkle of sumac and a few pine nuts on the lower edge of the wrap; fold it and place in on the cookie sheet; continue until all the chicken is used up.
- Place the cookie sheet in a preheated 350F oven for 15 minutes or longer until the wraps are nicely toasted; halfway through, brush them with some chicken broth to keep them moistened; at the end of cooking the wraps are going to be crisp and browned on the edges; remove from the oven and serve right away with some yogurt salad if desired.
50 Comments • Comments Feed