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Roast Chicken with Sumac and Red Onions (Mussakhan)
with naan / charred eggplant salad

Active: 45 Total: 85

Mussakhan is a rich and fragrant combination of juicy, roasted chicken and aromatic spices. It's traditionally served on top of toasted flatbread (to soak up all the delicious juices) and eaten with hands. We've paired it with a salad of tender, smoky eggplant for a meal that's perfect for sharing.
Smarts: Sumac is a middle eastern spice with an earthy, tangy flavor. Find it at specialty grocers, spice retailers, or online.



Roast Chicken with Sumac and Red Onions (Mussakhan):
  • Onions, medium and red - 1 , thinly sliced
  • Garlic - 4 cloves , chopped
  • Lemons - 1/2 , wedges
  • Lemon juice - 3 Tbsp
  • Oil, olive - 3 Tbsp , plus extra for serving
  • Sumac - 4 tsp , plus extra for serving (look for this at specialty grocery stores or online)
  • Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
  • Cumin, ground - 1/2 tsp
  • Allspice (opt) - 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1/4 tsp
  • Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
  • Chicken drumsticks, bone-in and skin on - 2 lbs (about 1-2 per serving)
  • Pine nuts - 2 Tbsp
  • Parsley - 3 Tbsp , chopped
  • Foil - for roasting
  • Naan - 2 (about 8 oz total; sub any flatbread)
Charred Eggplant Salad:
  • Eggplant - 1 lb , cut into 1" / 2.5 cm thick slices
  • Tomatoes, cherry or grape - 1 cup , halved
  • Parsley - 2 Tbsp , chopped
  • Red pepper flakes (opt) - 1/4 tsp
  • Cheese, feta - 2 oz , crumbled
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 1/2 Tbsp


  1. Onions / Garlic / Lemons / Eggplant - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating first.) Prep as directed and store separately. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  2. Make marinade - In a large container or zip-top bag, combine garlic, lemon juice (portion for chicken), olive oil (portion for chicken), sumac, salt, cumin, allspice (if using), cinnamon, and black pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  3. Marinate chicken - Pat chicken pieces dry and tenderize with a fork. Combine chicken and sliced onions with marinade and toss to coat. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

  4. Toast pine nuts - Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat and add pine nuts. Toast pine nuts in the dry skillet until golden brown and fragrant, ~4-5 minutes (watch them carefully to prevent burning). Store in an airtight container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)

  5. Tomatoes / Parsley (for chicken and salad) - Prep as directed.

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  1. Heat oven to 375F / 190C degrees. Line a rimmed sheet pan with foil and brush with some cooking oil or coat with cooking spray.

  2. Spread chicken and onions onto the sheet pan in an even layer and bake until chicken is cooked through (165F / 74C), ~35-40 minutes.

  3. While chicken cooks, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray cut sides of eggplant lightly with cooking spray or brush them with some cooking oil. Season both sides with some salt and pepper. Place eggplant slices in the heated skilled in a single layer (do this in batches if they won’t all fit comfortably at once). Cook eggplant until deeply browned on both sides and lightly charred in places, ~3-5 minutes per side. (They should be very tender all the way through, so if they get too dark but are still firm inside, reduce the heat slightly and cover with a lid for a minute or two. You can also add a tablespoon or two of water to the plan to help them steam slightly, if needed.) Transfer cooked eggplant to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized pieces.

  4. In a large serving or mixing bowl, combine eggplant, tomatoes, parsley (portion for salad), red pepper flakes (if using), and feta. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice (portions for eggplant) over everything and toss gently to combine. Season to taste with some salt and pepper, if needed.

  5. When chicken nearly finished cooking, spread naan onto a second sheet pan in an even layer. Toast naan in the oven until golden and beginning to crisp up, 3-5 minutes. 

  6. If you’d like your chicken more browned, turn on the oven’s broiler and broil chicken until golden, ~2 minutes more (watch it closely to prevent burning).

  7. Lay naan on a serving platter in a single layer. Spread chicken and onions over the naan on the serving platter, along with any cooking juices. Drizzle some additional olive oil over the chicken and sprinkle with some additional sumac. Scatter parsley (portion for chicken) and pine nuts over top.

  8. Serve chicken on top of toasted naan with eggplant salad on the side and lemon wedges to squeeze over everything. Enjoy!



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