5 Ingredients or Fewer

Easy Msakhan (Chicken & Sumac) Roll-ups

March 25, 2022
0 Ratings
Photo by Hajar D.
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 25 minutes
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

You know those weeks when you're just SO busy -- no time to prep any kind of meal, but you also don't want to eat awful food?

Thankfully, Middle Eastern food is easy to "hack" by using a few shortcuts (rotisserie chicken, anyone?) to get a fulfilling and yummy meal. This is one of my go-to working mom meals and an awesome addition to a party menu, too.

This rollup dish is based on the traditional Palestinian meal, msakhan, which is made with a special bread, tender cooked chicken on the bone, and topped with heaps of sauteed onions and copious sumac cooked low and slow with fresh Palestinian olive oil. It's a labor of love (and time)!

For those of us short on time but big on love -- we have shortcuts :) I love this easy taken on msakhan because:
1. It's super quick
2. It always tastes good
3. It's budget friendly
4. It's low-carb friendly
5. It's easily made and ingredients are accessible to all!
6. It can be MADE AHEAD!! I often make the entire chicken/spice/onion mixture and refrigerate it. When ready to eat, I reheat it, roll it up, give it a nice toasting in the pan -- and dinner is served in less than 15 minutes!

This recipe was adapted from my sister version of this dish. Try it out and let me know how it goes. Variations are at the bottom!

Bel hana wel shefa (Arabic: enjoy it with happiness and good health)! —Hajar D.

What You'll Need
  • 1 Rotisserie Chicken
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions, peeled and sliced into half moons
  • 2 tablespoons Sumac
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 6 flour tortillas or low carb alternative
  • salt, to taste
  1. Begin by putting on gloves and removing the skin off the chicken. Shred the chicken meat and set aside.
  2. In a large, deep pan, heat the olive oil on medium heat. Add the sliced onions. Saute for 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add all of the chicken and stir thoroughly. Add the spices except the salt. You'll notice the mixture turns a little darker from the sumac.
  4. Continue to stir on medium heat until onions have softened and the spices have been absorbed. Check the salt (note that rotisserie chicken is very salty, so taste before you add any extra!). You can continue sauteing if you want it to become crispier, or you can stop when the chicken is soft and tender. Turn off the heat. (You can stop here, store in the pan or a glass storage container and refrigerate until ready to use. At that point, just gently reheat in a pan once again).
  5. Start assembling your rollups! Lay out 6 flour tortillas or low-carb wrap (Joseph's Lavash or Carb Balance are both great). Place about 1/2-3/4 cup of the chicken mixture and spread it along the length of the tortilla. Roll it up just like a burrito!
  6. In a flat-bottomed pan, add 1 teaspoon of oil and heat on medium heat. Add 3 or so rollups, depending on the size of your pan, next to each other but not touching. Cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, rotating onto all sides to make a crunchy shell. When lightly browned on all sides, remove and add more until you're done.
  7. Slice the roll-ups in half and ENJOY!
  8. ALTERNATIVES: For the final step, you can finish them in the air fryer or in the oven (just brush the outside with oil)
  9. ALTERNATIVE SEASONING: - You can substitute curry powder for the sumac for a different twist on this dish. - You can toast or fry some pine nuts and fold them into the chicken mixture for a more authentic Msakhan experience. - You can dip the rollups in different sauces to add moisture -- hot sauce of any kind, sour cream, hummus, tzatziki sauce, tahini, greek yogurt, or my favorite: coriander chutney mixed with sour cream YUM!

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