M'sakhan (pronounced Im-sekh-en) is one of the most popular chicken dishes out of Palestine and Jordan, and the star of it is the sumac. Sumac is a tart berry that is often used in Middle Eastern cuisine as a finishing spice, but here it is heavily used in the two main elements of the dish- the onions and the chicken.The citrus and herby elements within the Savory Citrus Brine complement the sumac beautifully, and the brine adds great depth and even more delicious flavor to this dish. Use the infused lemon zest salt to finish for a final zippy pop.
By Doaa Elkady
Makes six servings
For the onions:
- 1¼ lb red onions (about 6 small-medium), sliced
- ¼ cup sumac
- Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Kosher Sea Salt to taste (see Note 1)
- ⅓ cup olive oil
For the chicken:
- 6 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
- 6 tbsp Jacobsen Salt Co. Savory Citrus Brine
- 2.5 tsp cumin powder
- 1¼ tsp allspice powder
- ¾ tsp cinnamon powder
- 1¼ tsp sumac
To serve and garnish:
- 6 flatbreads (see Note 2)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp pine nuts
- Chopped parsley
- Jacobsen Salt Co. Lemon Zest Salt
Begin by brining the chicken- use 1 tbsp Jacobsen Salt Co. Savory Citrus Brine per leg the night before you’re to cook the chicken. Distribute the brine evenly over and under the skin of the chicken legs, both front and back. Leave to brine overnight.
To prepare the chicken, preheat the oven to 425F. Mix the cumin powder, allspice, cinnamon and the 1¼ tsp of sumac. Reserve 1.5 tsp for the onions. Use the rest to season the chicken. Roast the chicken at 425F for 15 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350F and cook until the chicken is cooked through and registers 160F in the thickest part of the leg.
While the chicken is cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium skillet. Add the onions and cook on medium-low heat until they are softened. They should be cooked but not browned. Add the sumac, and the 1.5 tsp of mixed spices. Taste for salt and add Jacobsen Salt Co. Pure Kosher Salt- I used 1 tsp- and mix well.
In a small skillet, heat a tablespoon of olive oil and add the pine nuts. Let the pine nuts brown slightly in the oil, then drain and set aside.
When the chicken is done cooking, remove the legs from the sheet pan. Brush the flatbreads with the juices from the chicken. Divide the sumac onions between the flatbreads and place the flatbreads on a parchment lined baking tray. Let the breads warm up in the oven for 10 minutes, then remove and add one chicken leg per flatbread. Garnish with toasted pine nuts, chopped parsley, and a sprinkling of Jacobsen Salt Co’s Lemon Zest Infused Salt. Serve with sumac yogurt, green salad, and any extra onion on the side.
1. Sumac is often cured with salt. Be sure to taste your sumac and add salt according to how salty (or unsalted) your sumac is.
2. This recipe traditionally uses Taboon bread- a type of flatbread that resembles naan or pocketless pita. Do not use traditional pita bread for this recipe.