Recipe for Musakhan


3 lb chicken; split
1 tablespoon ground sumac *
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 salt; to taste
1 lb red onions; thin sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 lb arab bread; torn bite size
3 tablespoon chicken broth
1/4 cup pine nuts; browned in butter
2 teaspoon olive oil


* Sumac can be bought at a reliable Middle Eastern Shop.

Rinse chicken and pat dry. Trim off excess fat. Combine sumac, allspice, nutmeg, pepper and salt. Rub chicken with all but 1 tsp. of mixture. Arrange chicken single layer in oiled baking dish, cover and let sit 1 hour in a cool place (do not refrigerate). Meanwhile, in a deep skillet,toss onions with olive oil and remaining spice mixture, cover and cook gently 45 minutes or until soft and tender. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; pour onions over chicken, cover loosely with foil and bake 20 minutes. Arrange bread evenly over bottom of oiled baking dish and sprinkle with chicken broth. Arrange onions evenly over bread, then arrange chicken, skin side up, over onions. Bake on highest shelf in oven 20 minutes or until fully cooked. If crisper skin is desired, place under broiler for and additional 5 minutes or until browned. Cut into individual serving pieces, sprinkle with pine nuts and olive oil. Serve at once.

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