Low-FODMAP chicken musakhan (crock pot)

Chicken musakhan with Moroccan carrot salad, tahini and olivesI usually try to write these blog posts the day I make the dish in question but sometimes I don’t manage to get around to it until some days after. Sadly, this is the case today. Sadly, because the leftovers are gone. Sadly, because I’m a bit hungry and I suddenly really want some more chicken musakhan. It was really good. The leftovers were even better. Sigh.

Chicken musakhan is a Palestinian dish usually made with lots of onions and sumac, traditionally served over flatbread. It can be made fairly quickly but I wanted to make it in a crock pot because I wanted to come home to a ready-made dinner and because I wanted fall-off-the-bone chicken. I didn’t want to serve it with flatbread, I didn’t want to use onions (because they’re high in FODMAPs), and I didn’t have any sumac. So… was I going to be able to make a tasty version given those constraints?

The answer is yes. I used sweet bell peppers rather than onion and I substituted lemon and paprika for sumac – the point of sumac being a sour taste and reddish colour. While I make no claims as to the authenticity of my version, I can tell you it’s delicious, and that’s what counts, right? It’s also gluten-free, paleo, dairy-free, and free of added sugars.

Chicken Musakhan

  • 800 g chicken thighs or other chicken pieces of your choice, bone in and skin on (With thighs, I usually use kitchen shears to trim away loose skin but leave any that’s well stuck on. This should not be necessary with other types of chicken pieces.)
  • 1 lemon, zested (you will use both the zest and juice)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper or to taste
  • Large pinch saffron
  • Salt to taste
  • Splash of olive oil
  • Splash of chicken stock (1-2 tablespoons should do it; the idea is just to dilute the lemon juice a bit)
  • Generous handful of toasted pine nuts, for garnish
  • Good handful of fresh mint, chopped, for garnishRaw peppers in crock pot
  1. Directly in your crock pot, mix the sliced bell pepper, lemon zest, spices, and olive oil.
  2. Season the chicken pieces with salt and pepper and brown well in a frying pan with a bit of olive oil. Drain any excess fat.
  3. Layer the browned chicken pieces on top of the spiced bell pepper and add the lemon juice and chicken stock. Cook on low for about 6 hours.
    Browned chicken pieces on raw bell peppers

    Browned chicken before turning on crock pot

    Chicken musakhan after six hours in crock pot

    Chicken musakhan after six hours in crock pot

  4. Mix up the chicken and spiced peppers. Garnish with toasted pine nuts and fresh mint. Optionally, serve with tahini, olives and a simple (geographically confused but tasty) Moroccan-style carrot salad (grated raw carrot, raisins, chopped mint leaves, lime juice, olive oil, and a sprinkle of cumin). Well, okay, if you really want you can serve it over pita (pitta) bread too.

    Chicken musakhan in crock pot

    Chicken musakhan and peppers after giving the pot a bit of a stir

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