Mousakhan

Mousakhan

Chicken roasted with bread

By
From
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Serves
8
Photographer
Alan Benson

Mousakhan is a Palestinian speciality that calls for a very thin flat bread called shirak. This bread requires considerable expertise in making the dough paper thin, and also should be baked on a large metal dome (sorj) over a charcoal fire. Mousakhan is well worth trying, so I have given a substitute bread.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2 chickens, each about 1 kg
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
85ml olive oil
3 onions, sliced
3 teaspoons sumac
2 Khoubiz (1)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Pat the chickens dry with paper towels. Rub inside and out with salt and pepper. Tie the legs together and tuck the wings under the body.
  3. Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and fry the chickens over medium heat until lightly browned, turning them often. Remove to a plate and set aside.
  4. Add the remaining oil to the pan and gently fry the onion until translucent, stirring often. Sprinkle in the sumac and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. Split each khoubiz horizontally into two, to give four flat pieces of bread. Place two pieces slightly overlapping in the base of a baking dish.
  6. Place a mound of the onion mixture in the centre of each piece of bread, using about one-quarter of the onion mixture. Put a chicken on top of each mound, then spread the remaining onion mixture over the top of each chicken. Pour the oil from the pan over the chicken and bread.
  7. Cover the chickens with the remaining bread pieces, laying the white surface of the bread face down. Sprinkle the bread lightly with water.
  8. Bake for 1½ hours, or until the chickens are tender and thoroughly cooked. If the bread begins to burn, cover the top with a piece of foil. The bread covering keeps the chickens moist, while the bread in the base of the dish absorbs the flavoursome juices.
  9. Serve cut into portions, with a piece of bread for each serving.
Tags:
The Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook
Tess
Mallos
Middle Eastern
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