Musakhan spicy chicken baked in mountain bread with spinach, chickpeas and pine nuts

Musakhan spicy chicken baked in mountain bread with spinach, chickpeas and pine nuts

By
From
Saha
Serves
4
Photographer
Matt Harvey

This dish is based on a Bedouin recipe, in which chickens are cooked on bread with lots of sumac and bitter wild greens. The idea is to eat the juice-soaked bread with the chicken – you’ll definitely get your hands dirty.

Spicy chicken

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 chicken marylands
2 garlic cloves, crushed with ½ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
40ml olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons ground sumac
3 bunches spinach leaves, blanched, squeezed and chopped
150g cooked chickpeas
300ml good-quality chicken stock
1/2 lemon, juiced
150g toasted pine nuts, roughly crushed
4 large square pieces of mountainbread
extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Method

  1. Cut through the meat of the Marylands to expose the thigh and leg bones. This will help them cook more quickly. Mix together the garlic paste, spices and olive oil and rub all over the chicken. Leave in a cool place to marinade for 1–2 hours.
  2. Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan and sauté the onions and garlic until they are soft and the liquid has evaporated. Add the spices and stir in well. Add the chopped spinach to the pan, then the chickpeas. Use a fork to lightly crush the chickpeas, then add half of the stock. Turn up the heat and boil for about 5 minutes, or until the stock has evaporated. Remove from the heat and add the lemon juice and pine nuts. Leave to cool, then refrigerate until needed.
  3. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 200°C. Cut 4 pieces of baking parchment roughly 3 cm larger than the squares of mountain bread. Lay them on the work surface and place the bread on top. Spoon a dollop of spinach mixture onto the centre of each piece of bread and place a chicken Maryland on top.
  4. Gather the edges of the paper (and bread) together above the chicken and tie with kitchen string so you have a little bag. Place on a baking tray and cover with foil to stop the paper getting crisp and the string from burning. Cook for 20 minutes. Carefully open the bag and check that the chicken is firm to touch. If necessary cook for a further 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, tip the remaining spinach mixture into a pot with the remaining chicken stock. Add a splash of extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes on a gentle heat.
  6. Present individual parcels for each person to unwrap at the table, and serve with bowls of the spinach stew.
Tags:
Saha
Malouf
Lucy
Greg
Lebanon
Lebanese
Syria
Syrian
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