(Jordanian Sumac chicken with sautéed onions)

Prepared by : Chef Ibrahim Naffa


Musakhan is one of the most popular and traditional Jordanian recipes. It is usually prepared during the olive oil pressing season to celebrate freshly pressed olive oil, but you can see it on the menu all year round in family gatherings and parties. Musakhan is all about fresh, simple ingredients allowed to shine. Good olive oil, tangy sumac, a hint of spices, onions caramelized to the point of being sweet and tender, perfectly roasted chicken and fresh bread. Simple yet you have to taste it to see how a dish can be much more than the sum of its parts.


To make 4 servings you will need:

  • 2 medium loaves
  • 1 kg onions peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups  Zoara olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sumac
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 chicken cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 loaves taboon bread

For the decoration

  • Nuts for topping (pine nuts or almonds are the most commonly used ones)
  • 1 tablespoon sumac


To Prepare

  • Make sure you don’t chop the onions too finely or they will get too soft with cooking and lose texture.
  • Place the onions in a pot and add enough  Zoara olive oil to submerge the onions completely
  • Cook the onions over low heat stirring occasionally till the onions are translucent
  • (this will take 20- 30 minutes)
  • Sprinkle the onions with sumac, cardamom and black pepper and toss them till they are completely coated with sumac
  • Sear the chicken pieces till they are golden brown and then add them to the onions as they are cooking
  • Poach the chicken until done and then place them in the oven under the broiler to give them color.
  • To add more flavor to the onions and the chicken, cook onion with chicken together for five minutes


To assemble the musakhan

  • Brush the bread with some of the olive oil from cooking the onions and top it with onions and chicken
  • place in the oven for 10 minutes
  • Take out of the oven and top with nuts, sprinkle with the sumac and serve with yogurt.


Calories per serving of Musakhan

119 calories

Pine Nuts, (0.13 cup)

89 calories

Chicken Breast (cooked), no skin, roasted

83 calories


57 calories

Zoara Olive Oil, (0.03 cup)

43 calories

Onions, raw, (0.75 large)

1 calories

Allspice, (0.25 tsp)

0 calories

Pepper, black, (0.03 tsp)

0 calories

Salt, (0.03 tsp)

0 calories

Water, tap, (0.09 cup (8 fl oz))

0 calories

Sumac (dried), (0.13 serving)