While many people enjoy middle eastern food, many find cooking this cuisine at home daunting or intimidating. Even today’s young Arab generation they cannot fathom that they can cook as well as their parents and grandparents, preferring takeout instead. Some think the meals are far too complicated or time consuming, with barely any time to shop, prepare, and assemble these traditional dishes. I started Feast In the Middle East to not only bring people together in their shared love of this cuisine, but to demystify the cooking process so anyone can recreate these special dishes without much effort.
While some delicacies do indeed take a lot of time to prepare, there are modern conveniences and adaptations that can expedite the cooking process. One shortcut that can be implemented in a variety of recipes is the rotisserie chicken. The chicken pieces can be shredded and incorporated into Middle Eastern style soups, stews, rice dishes, and even wraps.
If you haven’t already, check out my previous blog and video on how to source the best rotisserie chickens, which are made with minimal and recognizable ingredients, like chicken with salt or herbs only. You can check out that blog here: https://feastinthemiddleeast.com/2022/09/18/jaw-dropping-ingredients-in-rotisserie-chickens-a-review-of-the-best-and-worst/
One popular Palestinian chicken dish that is perfectly adaptable into a quick and on the go meal is Musakhan. Musakhan is chicken seasoned with olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, and sumac, topped with caramelized onions and toasted pine nuts. The chicken is baked on pita bread so that the bread absorbs all of the delicious chicken drippings. This dish can be easily transformed into on the go wraps, using shredded rotisserie chicken as a shortcut. To prepare meals for the week, just shred the chicken, saute and season the onions, wrap in tortillas, and heat and eat as you go.
To see the video of how to assemble the musakhan rolls, click on the video below:
- 1 package large flour tortillas (you can use gluten free, low carb varieties, just make sure they are pliable)
- 2 thighs and 2 drumsticks from a rotisserie chicken, shredded
- 2 large onions, sliced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large tbsp ground sumac
- 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp olive oil (plus more for brushing on to the wraps before baking)
In a large skillet, heat 3 tbsp of olive oil, and saute the onions until soft and browned, which will take about 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and sumac. In a large bowl, add the sauteed onions to the shredded chicken and mix together well. Have a 9 by 13 inch glass casserole dish ready to assemble the rolls Take about 2 tbsp of the chicken mixture and put on a tortilla, fold both ends in, then roll up and place in the casserole dish. Repeat until you make about 10 of them. Brush the top with olive oil, and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees. Serve with hummus or cucumber yogurt sauce if desired.
If you have more time and want to make the original dish, check out this video below: