Large chicken mansaf

Chicken Mansaf

This recipe is the Jordanian national dish. It was given to me by a Masters degree student, currently studying in Australia. I've made it for several Middle Eastern folks who tell me it's really authentic.

Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Chicken Mansaf Recipe

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 1 1/2 quarts plain yogurt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup almonds, freshly toasted
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, freshly toasted
  • to taste, parsley, finely chopped
  • to taste, salt
  • to taste, pepper
  • 6 servings long grain white rice (like basmati)
Preparation Instructions

1. Place chicken in large pot with enough salted water to barely cover it.

2. Cook over medium heat until almost done, about 3/4 hour.

3. In a separate pan, cook enough rice for 6 large servings.

4. In a large saucepan, stir yogurt until it is quite smooth. Add beaten egg and heat over medium heat, stirring constantly.

5. Add enough of the liquid from the cooked chicken to make a thin sauce, about the consistency of very heavy cream.

6. Heat until it almost comes to a boil and thickens slightly.

7. Add the cooked chicken pieces to the yogurt sauce and finish cooking the chicken in the sauce, at a low temperature.

8. On a large platter, mound the rice in the center.

9. Arrange the chicken pieces on the rice and pour most of the yogurt sauce over it, reserving the remaining sauce to be added, as desired, by the diners.

10. Garnish with the almonds, pine nuts and parsley around the edges of the mound of rice and chicken.

11. Serve warm accompanied by warmed pita bread.

Yield: 4 - 6 servings
Helpful Hints

May also be made with lamb instead of, or in combination with chicken. Broth from cooking the meat may be used to cook the rice.

Recipe from Mahmoud Melkawy and Om Eisa Maghrabi.

(Editor's Note: We received an email informing us that Mansaf is traditionally made using lamb.)


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Having been in Jordan last fall and having this dish, this recipe seems lacking in the essential flavors. I have a cookbook recipe that I plan to try. It includes turmeric, allspice, and cinnamon, which when I recall the delicious sauce that was poured over the chicken, seems about right. The chicken was cooked as a simmer with onions and the yogurt sauce was poured over at the table. It was delicious.

leila m

the recipe is explained clearly, its written add enough liquid to the chicken to make a thick cream..what liquid is it? So many stuff are not clear.

Stephanie J. Schiltz

Regarding the question about " what liquid to thin sauce", it is stated in recipe that chicken is cooked in salted water. It makes sense that this is the liquid authur is referring to.


I had some homemade yogurt that didnt set right and was looking for a way to use it without wasting it. It was the perfect consistency for this. Added sliced red radishes, sliced carrots, snow peas, sliced mushrooms, sliced white onion and fresh Thai basil. It was delicious; similar to Thai curry but with more bite using the yogurt instead of coconut milk. A definite new item to add to our regular dinner options. A little red pepper or perhaps sliced jalepenos or Thai peppers would be a great addition.