Sumac Chicken

Mediteranean feast of sumac chicken and hummus

Sumac Chicken is full of flavor

I made this Sumac Chicken when I moved to Germany. Not only did I miss my family, but the food we loved eating together. I missed the Mediteranean restaurants we used to gather at for every celebration. I had a great line up of recipes like my bright and fresh fattoush, fluffy pita bread and creamy hummus, all just like the ones I grew up eating. But I had yet to make that delicious grilled chicken. After a few tries I found the perfect balance of lemon and sumac, making this the perfect main course for my ultimate Mediteranean feast.

My inspiration for this is Musakhan, Palestinian slow roasted chicken flavored with sumac

While this dish is not a traditional Musakhan, the flavors are heavily inspired by it. The base notes are similar, but I do not add onions to the chicken, and I use breast meat. A traditional Musakhan is made with whole chicken or chicken thighs and is roasted in the oven. You can read more about it and countless other authentic Palestinian recipes in Joudie Kalla’s books ‘Palestine on a plate‘ and ‘Baladi‘ which I own myself and adore. They are full of spell binding stories, images and recipes. You can find Joudie’s books here.

The perfect Mediteranean feast

I never make this sumac chicken alone. When I make it, I really go for it and pull together homemade hummus, fattoush and if I’m really in the mood I’ll make pita bread too. They are the perfect meal in my eyes, and the flavors work together so well. I have, on occasion, just made this sumac chicken and used it to make pita pockets for a quick lunch. It’s so quick because there is so marinating time and it’s pan fried so it cooks quickly.

Mediteranean feast of sumac chicken and hummus

Sumac Chicken

This Sumac Chicken is full of flavor and is inspired by the delicious Palestinian Musakhan.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 3


  • 1 pound chicken breast butterflied or cubed
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp chili flakes or chili powder
  • 1 tbsp olive oil


  • Add all the ingredeints to the chicken barring the olive oil. Marinate for 5 minutes.
  • Heat the olive oil in apan and pan fry the chicken for 3 minutes on either side, or until light golden brown and cooked through. Serve immediately with a side of hummjus and pita bread.


Bake it. I make this stove top for ease, but you can roast this in the oven at 380 F for 25-30 minutes. throw in some tomato and onions wedges with a drizzle of olive oil and bake till golden brown. 
Variations. I use breast meat because of picky eaters, but this would be great with skinless  chicken thighs. 
Keyword Sumac, Sumac Chicken

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