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Traditional Palestinian Maftoul

Maftoul is the couscous equivalent in rural Palestine. Try our authentic recipe that is totally worth it.


  1. 1 kg maftoul, or couscous
  2. 8 pieces chicken breast without skin
  3. 8 pieces chicken drumstick without skin
  4. 2 kg onions, small and finely chopped
  5. 1 cup chickpeas, boiled
  6. 1/4 cup olive oil
  7. 1 teaspoon turmeric
  8. 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  9. 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  10. 1 teaspoon salt
  11. This dish requires a special instrument: the couscous pan. It consists of 2 parts on top of each other. The bottom part is a large pot and the top part is a colander that holds the couscous or maftoul. If you don't have this instrument, you can use a regu


  1. In the bottom part of the couscous pan (or in a large saucepan), place the chicken, oil and onions and mix well. Then add in the turmeric, allspices, salt and pepper. Cover with water and place on medium heat.

  2. Put the maftoul in the top part of the couscous pan and put it over the bottom part(or put maftoul in the colander, put a cloth under the colander and place it over the saucepan used for chicken).

  3. Cover the pan with its lid (or the colander with an aluminum foil) so that the maftoul is cooked by absorbing the steam rising from the chicken broth. It is important that steam can only escape from the top of the pan this is why we use a cloth between the colander and the saucepan.

  4. Stir the maftoul occasionally. When the chicken is close to be done, add to it the chickpeas and leave to boil.

  5. Remove the chicken from the broth and set aside. Strain the chicken broth, reserve the onions on a plate and keep the chicken broth for later use.

  6. Finally, place the maftoul in a serving dish and pour over it ½ cup of chicken broth. Spread over it the onions and arrange the chicken pieces on top. Pour the remaining chicken broth in a deep serving bowl.

  7. When serving: pour more chicken broth over each plate.

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