Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Musakhan Cornish Hen Serve On A Simple Flat Bread With Zaatar and Sumac

This was what we're having for dinner last night. I have made this in the past using more spices, but this time I wanted something more simpler. If you are interested of making musakhan with more fragrant spices check out my other musakhan recipe, here.

Although I didn't put any fragrant spices this time, it was pretty satisfying meal, everybody was happy, and wish that I made more of that flat bread. It wasn't really enough flat bread to serve four hungry people, three of them were grown up mans, so I definitely need more flat bread. The hens though, as you can imagine how small this cornish hens are, surprisingly more then enough for us, in fact I had some left over that I used to make a small b'stila serve as appetizer the next day. It's so easy to satisfied your family when you have meal like this, the star I guess is the flat bread. It soft, chewy, and full of flavor from the sweet caramelized onion, and all of those dripping and juices that comes out from the baked hens. So, whenever your family start to complaint and get bored of eating the same chicken dish over and over again, try to make Musakhan, hopefully it will make your family excited to eat poultry again.

I always prefer to use cornish hen then the regular chicken, it tastes better in my opinion . You can use your favorite chicken, you might need to adjust the cooking time and the seasoning a little bit.


2 cornish hens (about 3 pounds), clean and buterflied by cutting through a long the breast bone, then flatten with the palm of your hand. Set aside.

Juice of 1 lemon

5 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon smoked pimento

2 teaspoon salt

freshly ground black pepper, as much or as little as you like it
1 large onion
5 green scallions
¼ cup roughly chopped parsley, cilantro and mint

1 tablespoon za'atar
1 tablespoon sumach
1 recipe of Simple Flat Bread, recipe follows

  • Preheat the oven to 375⁰F.

  • Mix lemon juice, 3 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, smoke pimento, salt and pepper in a bowl. Rub this mixture all over cornish hens including the cavities. Transfer the hens on to a baking dish, season with salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until the chicken is cooked thoroughly, and the juices run out clear. Take the hens out from the oven, cover with foil to keep them from drying out.

  • In the mean time, while cornish hens are cooking in the oven, brown the onion until it caramelized a little with the remaining olive oil, add scallions, parsley, cilantro and mint. Cook another one minute. Set aside to cool.

  • Increase the oven temperature to 450⁰F. Place the pizza stone to the lowest rack.

  • Take the pita dough, divide the dough into two portions. Working with one dough at a time, flatten each dough into round roughly about 12 to 13 inches in diameter. Place it on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal, spread some caramelized onion mixture on top of the dough, sprinkle with za'atar and sumac, then slide the dough directly into pizza stone, bake for 5 minutes. Take it out from the oven, transfer the pita on a large serving dish. Take one cornish hen, cut into 4 portions. Place them on top of Pita bread including all of the delicious juices/drippings, add more caramelized onion if desire. Do the same with the remaining dough. Serve immediately.

Simple Flat Bread:
3 - 3½ cups bread flour

2 teaspoons active dry yeast

2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoon olive oil

  • Place all ingredients into a mixer bowl, add enough water (more or less 1 to 1½ cups) to make a soft dough. Knead the dough with dough hook attachment on medium setting for 5 to 10 minutes until smooth and elastic. Gather the dough into a ball, place it on a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let the dough rest until double in volume for about an hour.

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