Monday, February 18, 2013

Chicken with Sumac and Onions

This dish is a take on the Middle Eastern chicken and sumac dish called Musakhan.  Traditionally the chicken is cooked in a pan lined with a thin flatbread and baked in the oven, here I leave the bread out and elect to serve toasted pita bread on the side.  The onions cook down and caramelize in the pan creating an amazing sauce that we scoop up with torn bits of warm pita.  This is a family favorite in our home.

Chicken with Sumac and Onions

1 whole chicken
2 large onions, sliced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup ground sumac
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and pepper

Begin by cutting the chicken apart.  I normally cut it into 10 pieces, wings, legs, thighs, and I quarter the breast portion.  (Save the backbone to make stock out of.)  In a casserole pan mix all ingredients and mix together by hand.  Make sure everything is coated in spices and thoroughly mixed.  Cover and marinate for a few hours or overnight in the fridge.  Bake at 350 degrees for an 1-1 1/2 hours or until onions are tender and chicken is cooked through.  (Sometimes I broil it at the end for a few minutes to brown if necessary.)  Serve with warm pita bread.

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