Here’s what chef Salam Daqqaq’s delicious fatet musakhan is made of
In these times of great culinary innovation, we’re relieved that heirloom recipes still have a place at the table. In Dubai, Salam Daqqaq of Bait Maryam keeps the family tradition — and good taste — alive by serving up Palestinian and Levantine dishes inspired by her mother’s recipes. Her much-loved fatet musakhan (roasted chicken and fried bread) features sumac-spiced tender chicken mixed in yogurt and tahini (sesame seed paste).
“The oil, which is processed for us in Palestine from the end of October to November every year, comes from ripe green olives and carries a salty, bitter taste. There are three cups of oil in each serving of the dish, giving the overall flavor a tangy edge.”
“Raw sumac — a kind of berry — has a citrusy aroma and is commonly added to give acidity to dishes in Arabic and Lebanese cuisine. Our sumac, which comes from Lebanon, is used in powder form. Its beautiful, reddish-purple shade doesn’t quite come through in the final product, and is really only appreciated in the preparation process.”
“Our chicken is locally sourced, and we start with whole chickens boiled with olive oil and six to 10 onions, chopped into small cubes. We remove the skin and bones and shred the meat, and then we use this to line the bottom of each serving.”
“We use homemade Lebanese bread — cut into squares and fried — as one of our main toppings. The fried quality gives some crunch and texture to the dish.”
Yogurt, tahini and garlic
“On top of the chicken, we pour over a topping made from two cups of plain yogurt, a tablespoon of tahini, half a clove of garlic, chopped, and a dash of salt. Almonds, pomegranate seeds and parsley go on top as final garnishing.”