Over here, we’re still loving cooking our way through Falastin, January’s selection for the Kitchn’s Cookbook Club. So far we’ve made Lemon Chickpea Salad (Balilah), Saffron Butternut Squash Soup, and a few others that we didn’t share on here (yet). We love Middle Eastern food at baseline, and this cookbook has been a real treat. I’ve wanted to make chicken musakhan for a long time and finally had the catalyst to do so! And I’m really glad that we did – it is amazing! No wonder it’s the “national dish” of Palestine! Sumac is clearly the dominate flavor and is so beautiful. We ate this meal just the two of us and made a valiant effort to finish the whole thing, though we didn’t exactly succeed. This would be a perfect meal to share with family or friends, though maybe not the most COVID-friendly dish for these times.
(Adapted from Falastin, by Sami Tamimi & Tara Wrigley)
- 2-2 1/2 lb of bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces (we used leg quarters)
- 5 tbsp olive oil, divided
- 2 tbsp + 2 tsp sumac, divided
- 3 tsp cumin, divided
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 4 taboon breads (sub naan or other flatbread)
- Fresh parsley
- Lemon, for serving if desired
- Yogurt, for serving if desired
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Place chicken pieces in a large bowl. Whisk together 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tsp suman, 2 tsp cumin, cinnamon, allspice, 1 tsp salt, and 5 grinds of fresh black pepper, and then pour over the chicken. Mix well so all of the chicken pieces are coated.
- Place chicken pieces on a wire rack set in a large, rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes (will depend on what type of pieces you used). Chicken is done at an internal temperature of 165 degree. The skin should be crispy.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the dish. Place 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat in a large sauté pan. When hot, add the pine nuts. Toast for just 2-3 minutes, shaking and stirring frequently, until the pine nuts are browned. Remove the nuts to the side, reserving the oil, and place on a paper towel-lined bowl or plate to absorb the excess oil.
- Add the remaining 2 tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Lower the heat to medium. Add the onions, followed by 1/2 tsp salt, 10 grinds of black pepper, 2 tbsp sumac, and 2 tsp cumin. Stir to combine well. Cook the onions for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until very soft, but not yet caramelized.
- When all of the components are cooked, place the flatbread in the oven to warm for a few minutes. Then place the flatbread on a platter. Top the flatbread with ~1/2 of the onions, followed by the chicken, then the rest of the onions. Sprinkle the pine nuts over top and some fresh, roughly torn parsley.
- Pull apart bites with your fingers. Squeeze lemon overtop and/or add a dollop of yogurt as desired.