Sumac Chicken

This is a variation of Musakhan, but instead of the traditional onion-infused flat bread, you’ll serve it atop an onion-loaded, spiced-up brown rice.  If you don’t have sumac on hand, add extra lemon and make it anyway.  But since sumac adds such a unique and earthy tang, consider adding it to your pantry at some point.


  • 1 whole chicken, quartered (or the equivalent)
  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 2 cups brown rice, cooked
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 2½ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 cup olive oil, divided
  • 1½ teaspoons turmeric
  • ¾ cup toasted pine nuts
  • Sumac, to garnish
  • Chopped parsley, to garnish
  • Lemon wedges, to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Combine spices in a bowl and sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces.
  3. Put the chicken skin-side up on a large baking dish and pour over ¼  cup of the oil.
  4. Cover tightly with foil; bake about an hour. (It’s done when the juices run clear.)

While the chicken cooks…

  1. Sauté the onions over medium-high heat, 10 to 12 minutes.
  2. Add the spices, cook another minute, then remove from the heat.

To serve:  Place the chicken pieces on top of the onion brown rice.  Go to town sprinkling with toasted pine nuts, sumac, parsley and lemon wedges.

Serve immediately.