Palestinian Chicken with Sumac and Onion

by Olivia McCrimmon September 10, 2021 2 min read

Palestinian Chicken with Sumac and Onion

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Musakhan is a traditional Palestinian chicken meal that's served from one dish, for everyone to tear off bread and sandwich the tender, spiced chicken and onions in between. With the mild weather we've been blessed with, we cooked the chicken on the barby to give the whole dish a nice, toasty flavour but cooking it in the oven works wonderfully too! Any chicken on the bone will work here, so you can sub in chicken chops, or break down a whole chook. We had some leeks that were ready to be picked from the garden, but feel free to use two red onions and omit the leeks. 

Serves 4


  • 1kg chicken drumsticks
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sumac, separated
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 red onion, cut into wedges
  • 4 baby leeks, sliced lengthways
  • Flatbread
  • 3 tbsp pinenuts
  • 2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 Greek yoghurt
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp honey
  • squeeze lemon


  1. Place the chicken in a large container and add in the olive oil, 1 tbsp sumac, cumin, allspice, cinnamon and lemon juice. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and mix well. Let it marinate in the fridge for at least an hour.
  2. Heat your bbq on high heat and while you're waiting, put the onions and leek in a bowl and drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Once hot, fry the onions and leeks until caramelised and nicely charred.
  4. Next, grill the chicken pieces and cook until golden and charred. The best way to determine if they're done is to use a meat thermometer. They should be around 77-79°C.
  5. Once cooked, remove from heat and allow to rest, while you prepare the rest of the toppings.
  6. Place the bread on the barby for a couple of minutes to get some nice colour.
  7. Toast the pinenuts on the stove until golden.
  8. To make the yoghurt dressing add the yoghurt, cumin, honey and lemon in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. 
  9. To assemble, place the toasted bread on a platter, followed by the onions and leeks and chicken pieces. Drizzle some yoghurt over the top and then garnish with roughly chopped parsley, toasted pinenuts and remaining sumac.

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