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Make Palestinian Iftar Dish Musakhan With Jenan

by in Lifestyle on 3rd April, 2022

Musakhan is the national dish of Palestine and it’s a dish that is cherished by so many. It’s made with layers of fluffy bread, drenched in good olive oil, onions, Sumac and chicken stock, topped with spiced chicken & toasted nuts. 

Watch step by step recipe here

Jenan is a recipe developer and food writer over at (IG: @jenanland) which is where she shares really easy, really delicious recipes that are often inspired by the flavours of the Middle East, but using seasonal ingredients from here in the UK. 

Today’s recipe is a really, really special one and is probably the most beloved dish from Palestine. It consists of layers of naan-like bread that have been soaked in a sumac an onion olive oil mixed with chicken stop, then they’re crisped up in the oven and topped with spiced chicken and toasted nuts, and a tiny sprinkling of parsley, and it’s just amazing!

This recipe is in partnership with Islamic Relief Uk and their food packs programme that provides essential food items to fasting families around the world including in Palestine, families in the UK and 32 other countries. You can donate as little as £1.66 to the campaign and help feed a family for one day this Ramadan and help them have a Iftar.

Muskhan is “easy to make but incredibly impressive” especially for when you have guests over for Iftar! It’s a really, really simple recipe and of course, recipes vary from region to region, family to family but in my family, which is the way I’ll be making the Musakhan, it’s all about the onions. But really for everyone, the star of the show is the Sumac, which is this bright, purpley-pink powder. It’s a little sour, a little fruity, and just has the most amazing flavour and you can get your hands on it any Middle Eastern or Turkish supermarket. 

Watch step by step recipe here

The first component of this dish is the chicken stock. Here’s a recipe card of all the ingredients you will need to make this dish. We will start with the chicken stock. 

For the chicken stock*

  • Garlic (measure with your heart)
  • A small piece of Ginger
  • 1 tbsp Whole Cardamom
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1 Whole Chicken with skin on
  • 1 Onion

Start by making the chicken stock and pre-cooking the chicken. Cut one whole chicken into 8 pieces and add all aromats* listed above, then boil in a deep pot on the stove for about 40 minutes. 

For the Nan

  • 8 Naan
  • A handful of Pine nuts & Almonds
  • 3 tbsp Sumac
  • 6 Red Onions
  • 400ml Extra Virgin
  • Olive Oil

This Ramadan, spread the barakah by joining Islamic Relief UK in distributing food packs in 33 countries across the globe including Palestine, Yemen, South Sudan and Syria. These food packs help feed our Muslim brothers and sisters with limited access to food essentials. With £1.66 you can feed a family for an entire day and in under £20 you can support them for the first ten days of Ramadan. Help stock a kitchen for a single family with staples like flour, rice and sugar, enabling them to focus on their spiritual duties over the month.

Next is prepping the sauce and nuts to top our bread. For this you’ll need 6-8 Naan (Traditionally we use Taboon bread for this recipe, but Naan is a close substitute!) and all the above listed ingredients.  These seasonings we’ll be using on the chicken later before roasting it. In here we have: 1 tbsp Sumac, 1 tsp Chilli Flakes, 1 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Black Pepper, Juice of half a Lemon

To prep the onions, all you need to do is peel and chop in half, then cut them into thin strips so that they are fine. Watch this step 

Lightly fry the nuts in 2 tbsp of olive oil until lightly golden, then remove from pot and set aside, be sure to remove them in time so they don’t over brown and into the same pot add the onions, whilst it may look like a lot they will reduce so much. You also need to go in with a good glue or two of Olive oil, for my recipe I added 300ml of the olive oil and then let this all cook down for 30-40 mins like the chicken but make sure to stir occasionally and check as you don’t want it to smoke or burn! 

Once the chicken is done transfer it to a bowl so that you can marinate it before putting it in the oven and don’t discard the stock.

Mix together the chicken spices, lemon juice and 3 tbsp Olive Oil, and pour over each piece, then roast at 230°C Fan/210°C for approx. 20 mins or until golden

In the mean time once the onions have reduced significantly which will take around 40 mins, take them off the heat and add in the Sumac, and 1tsp salt and then put ¾ of the mixture aside and  add the chicken stock to this part. Add sumac to the end or the dish can get bitter!

The bread is going to be stacked in the mixture of onion and stock and sprinkle onions on so that when you put it in the oven it crisps up.

Dipping and assembling station! 

Watch this 

  • The soaked bread will go in the oven for about 10 mins, or until the edges have gained some colour
  • Once the bread and the chicken is done start stacking in the order of bread, nuts, bread nuts, all the way until the top and then finish it up with the chicken and a little bit of parsley at the end.
  • For this recipe it’s all in the stacking and ensuring each person gets a piece of bread and shreds the chicken onto it! The chicken is crispy. The middle of the bread is chewy…it’s perfect!

I hope you enjoyed this Musakhan recipe and I hope you get the chance to make it and share it, because it’s better that way. All I have left to say is thank you so much for having me, and have a wonderful and blessed Ramadan!

You can donate as little as £1.66 to feed a family for one day this Ramadan. With £25, you can help stock a family’s kitchen with essentials like rice, flour and lentils which will feed them for half of Ramadan and enable them to focus on their spiritual duties. 

The Prophet ﷺ said: 

“Whoever helps break the fast of a fasting person will have the same reward as the one [who fasted] without decreasing anything from the reward of the fasting person.” 

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