Musakhan and other musings….

So here is another great reason to follow the Mediterranean diet–to fight inflammation! I just stumbled upon this great ARTICLE

The jist of it is, a diet that is based on whole foods, including healthy fats like those contained in olive oil and nuts, can help fight inflammation from diebetes, cancer, and other diseases.  With that premise, here is my M’Sakhan recipe in printed form. Since I created my food pilot making this dish (which you can see below) a lot of people wanted more detailed information on the recipe.  So here we go.

Musakhan (baked chicken with caramelized onions and pine nuts)

There are some dishes that manage to be fancy and rustic at the same time, Musakhan is one of those dishes. This is a  popular Arabic  specialty literally meaning “something that is heated.” Watch the magic happen when you combine flavorful juicy chicken, caramelized onions, and pita bread coated with pan juices and earthy pine nuts. There are many steps to making Musakhan to ensure that cooking time for each component is perfect, but you won’t be disappointed with the final golden result of this dish. I found Musakhan is a real crowd pleaser at dinner parties, as well as a cozy meal in with the family on a rainy day. If you don’t have sumac on hand, you can substitute allspice, although sumac has a more delicate and tangy flavor.


Here is my step by step video series on how to prepare this dish:



  • 1 large chicken cut in pieces (can substitute with at least 3 pounds of all chicken thighs or breasts with the bone in depending on preference)
  • 2 Tbs. sumac, divided
  • 2 Tbs. plus ¼ cup olive oil
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large onions, sliced into thin slivers
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted in 1 tbs olive oil until browned
  • 1 1/2 packages of pita bread or flatbread rounds, cut in half

12 thoughts on “Musakhan and other musings….

  1. I really enjoy watching you make the M’Sakhan and Hareesa!! Can you please send me the amount of Smeed and Yougut you used in the recepie!! I am Palestinian Christian born in the US but my parents were from Ramallah!! I grew up with all of this wonderful food!! As you said mom never measured so your show helps alot!! I do alot of Arabic cooking, Mashi, warek, makloubi, maftool and on and on!! My parents also had an Arabic grocery store and bakery where we specialized in Pita bread!! Keep up the wonderful show!! Wish you were on Cable TV!!

    Thank you so much
    Helen Farah

    1. Thank you so much Hele! Pleasure to meet you! The amount of smeed I used 1 cup of smeed, and 1 1/4 cup Greek yogurt. I hope you enjoy the recipe–Sahtein! 😉

  2. I am very excited to dry this dish for a dinner party we are having. I can’t find the printed form of the recipe. Is it on your webpage?

  3. Dear Blanche-
    Growing up, this was (and still is) my favorite dish by far. My Palestinian aunt (3amto khayriyeh) made it the best. Her routine is a little different, but this just helped me get it all together. I’m working on MY version of the best M’sakhan ever. Thanks for the tips. Looking forward to learning basboosa next 🙂


    1. That’s what this cuisine is all about–coming up with your best version that you enjoy. I love that there are no set rules, Arab cuisine is super flexible! 😉

  4. Hi Blanche, thanks for posting these great videos. Can you just clarify approximately how long did you cook the chicken for at 400 degees? Thx 🙂

  5. Blanche, can you please tell me where I can get the full recipe and instructions? I just bought some sumac and I would LOVE to try this recipe. Do you have a cook book?

    1. Thanks for your interest! I don’t have the recipe published in written form yet but I do have 4 videos dedicated to this recipe with step by step instructions. I plan on having the written recipes in my e-cookbook soon, and will have updates on my site on when that will happen 🙂

  6. Hi Blanche,
    Looking at your video for how to make Harisseh, it appears to me that you have used 2 cups of smeed, and not 1. I could be wrong though. Could you please confirm.
    BTW, I already tried the Mussakhan and it was amazing. Thank you so much for the detailed, step-by-step video 🙂

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