Authentic Chicken Maqluba Recipe

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This Maqluba Recipe is a popular Palestinian and Jordanian spiced rice dish that is mix with fried cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, and meat. In Arabic, Maqluba (Makloubeh or Maqlooba) means “Upside Down” since we take the pot and flip it upside down directly on the large plate.

Recipe of Chicken Maqluba in a plate

As a half Jordanian (from my father’s side), this dish is part of our culture and heritage and I love Maqluba which is one of my favorite Jordanian / Palestinian rice dishes. Although it is a national dish of Palestine, this food is also found and eaten in Jordan and even in Syria & Iraq. 

I remember back in the old days when I was living in Kuwait, before residing in the Philippines, we have a family gathering every Wednesday or Thursday in my Grandparents’ house at Lunch Time.

My late grandmother made this delicious Chicken Maqluba and I saw her flipping upside down into the large serving platter. Every time she made this dish, I was very excited and I was the first to go to the table. This dish is so big that it can accommodate up to 15 people. My father jokingly told me that it is considered a Jordanian/Palestinian version of Paella since it is also served on a large plate.

Chicken Maqluba with Potatoes, cauliflower and eggplant in a large plate

Fortunately, my grandmother taught this recipe to my mother, and I learned it from her. Because I love this Jordanian chicken recipes, I am going to show you a true authentic Chicken Maqluba Recipe

Recipe Ingredients

Making a Maqluba Recipe is not easy since it takes effort and time.

First of all, to make a Maqluba spices, I use a ready-made Baharat spice, Allspice, Bay Leaves and Turmeric that I purchased from a Middle Eastern grocery store. These baharat spices already contain all kinds of spices which is easier and convenient for me. If you don’t have Baharat spice, you can use Garam Masala which is an Indian mixed spice. They taste similar except it is mildly spicy.

Secondly, I use these 3 important vegetables for my Makloubeh- Potatoes, Eggplants, and Cauliflowers. It is important to fry them first before putting them into the pot since it will give a nice brown texture.

Thirdly, I am using chicken as my protein meat and long grain rice. I am using basmati rice for this recipe, but you can use jasmine rice or other long-grain rice. Just make sure you soak the rice in the water for 30 minutes before boiling them. This will help cook the rice faster and prevent having sticky rice.

Lastly, you need cooking oil when frying the vegetables & chicken, and salt & black pepper for taste.

Can I use other meat for this recipe?

Traditionally in Jordan and Palestine, it is more popular to use chicken for maqluba recipe. However, you can also use Mutton and Beef instead of chicken. One time, my father’s relative made a Lamb Maqluba in his house, and it tastes delicious.

The only problem you will have to boil the Beef or Mutton a bit longer to make sure the meat will be tender and moist. For this reason, I prefer to use chicken since it is easier, and it is my favorite meat.

What do you serve with Maqluba?

When eating Maqluba, this food is commonly served with plain yogurt and Arabic salad. The yogurt provides great condiments for this rice dish. While the salad well serves as a healthy vegetarian side dish.

I will admit one thing. This rice dish is very delicious but it is also a bit oily. So it is important to serve with something healthier like Arabic Salad. These two side dishes are a must and you cannot eat Chicken Makloubeh without them.

Alternatively, you can use garlic yogurt sauce instead of plain yogurt. They taste delicious.

How do you cook this recipe?

The first thing to do you will have to prepare a large pot where you will put the chicken and pour water for boiling. Once the chicken started to boil, remove the fats using the big soon.

After that, add the baharat spices / garam masala, allspice, turmeric, salt and black pepper in the pot, and give it a slow stir. The chicken broth will have to taste a bit salty since you will use that to pour into the rice and the vegetables. Let the chicken boil for 30 minutes.

While the chicken is boiling, chop the cauliflower, potatoes, and eggplant (long shape). Add vegetable oil in a separate pan to prepare to fry them. Once the oil is hot, fry first the cauliflower until it shows a light brown texture. After your done with the cauliflower, proceed with potatoes and the eggplants.

Once the chicken is cooked, remove the chicken from the stock and prepare again the vegetable oil in the same pan. Fry the chicken in the pan until it has a brown texture. Flip on the opposite side and repeat the process.

On the last step, use a new pot for cooking the Maqluba. To make a first layer, sprinkle first with rice, followed by half portion of vegetables and then the chicken. For a second layer, repeat by putting rice, followed by the remaining vegetables and the chicken. Lastly, put all the remaining rice into the pot, and transfer the chicken broth from the old pot into this pot.

Lastly, turn on the gas stove in medium high heat to the let the maqluba boil. When the water is already absorbed, switch it to low heat, and let it cook for additional 15 minutes or until the rice is soft. Turn off the heat and let it cool for 5 minute.

In the mean time, prepare a large plate on a table. Bring the pot to the plate and quickly turn into upside down position. Slowly lift it up to have a beautiful layer of Maqluba. Serve it with Salad & Yogurt and you are done. Bon Appetit!

Chicken Maqluba Recipe in a plate

For full detail of Chicken Maqluba Recipe, here is the recipe card below. Enjoy!

Chicken Maqluba Recipe

4 from 26 votes
Recipe by Saif Al Deen Odeh Course: MainCuisine: Middle Eastern, JordanianDifficulty: Medium
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

1

hour 

15

minutes
Calories

665

kcal

An authentic Jordanian Chicken Maqluba Recipe which is mix with chicken, cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, rice and middle eastern spices.

Ingredients

  • 8 pieces Chicken drumstick and thigh

  • 2 1/2 cup Basmati or long grain rice

  • 1 large cauliflower head

  • 2 long eggplant

  • 2 large size potatoes

  • 5 cup water for boiling and making a broth

  • Spices for this Recipe
  • 1 teaspoon of allspice

  • 2 teaspoon of baharat spice or garam masala

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 4 pieces Bay leaves.

  • 1 tablespoon of salt

  • 1/2 tablespoon of black pepper

Directions

  • Add the chicken and water into the pot. Put it into the gas stove and turn on the heat.
  • When it is already boiling, remove excess fats or dirt from the boiling chicken using the large spoon. After that, add all the spices and give it a slow stir. Let the chicken cooked for 30 minutes.
  • While the chicken is cooking, chop the potatoes, eggplants, and cauliflower to prepare to fry them.
  • Add vegetable oil in the separate pan. When it is hot, add the potatoes and fry them till it becomes light brown. After that, fry the rest of the cauliflowers and the eggplants.
  • When the chicken is already cooked, separate the chicken from the broth. Dry the chicken first with a kitchen paper towel before frying them in the same pan. This will prevent causing the oil from splashing.
  • After all the chicken and the vegetables are fried, start transferring all of them into a new pot.
  • To make the first layer, add first the rice (20%), followed by half of the fried vegetables and the chicken. For a second layer, repeat again by putting the rice (20%), followed by the remaining vegetables and the chicken. Lastly, put all the remaining rice (60%) into the pot, and transfer the chicken broth from the old pot into this pot.
  • Turn on in high heat and let the pot boil. When the water is fully absorbed, reduce to low heat. Cook for additional 15 minutes.
  • Once it is cooked, prepare a large round plate. Bring the pot to the plate and quickly flip into an upside-down position.
  • Slowly raise the pot up to have a nice beautiful cake shaped like Maqluba. Garnish it with pine nuts (Optional) and serve with any yogurt and salad.

Notes

  • Traditionally, makloubeh or maqluba is garnished with pine nuts but I am not doing that in my recipe since I am not a fan of having nuts in my rice.
  • If you prefer healthier version, you can grill or baked the vegetables and the chicken instead of frying them.

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Other Middle Eastern Chicken Dish

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15 Comments

  1. We are always looking for new ways to use chicken and this looks amazing. Such great flavours.

  2. Love all of the spices in this recipe! It makes it taste so rich and flavorful!

  3. I don’t recall making this dish at home, so that makes me really excited! Adding the recipe to my menu 🙂

  4. Danielle Wolter

    I cannot wait to try this! The spices and flavors sound just incredible.

  5. Oh, I need to make this for my dad! He used to live in the Middle East and this looks delicious!

  6. Heidi Etayyim

    This is my husband’s favorite dish from his home (Palestine)! I can’t wait to make this for him since I know he’s extremely home sick!

    • Hi Heidi. Thank you for your comment. It is also one of my favorite dishes from Kuwait since I was born there. When you migrate or live in other countries, you will surely miss the food. I am sure your husband will be please when you make this dish. Let me know if you make one 🙂

  7. Sonya walters

    I had never had maqluba but always friends are talking about this dish so I decide to try. I found it to be pretty easy and it came out wonderfully… ty for this recipe… now I must try mansuf

    • Hi Sonya. Thank you for sharing your experience. Indeed it is a very delicious chicken rice dish. Mansaf is actually another jordanian meat dish, which is made from yogurt milk. I will definitely let you know if I will post a mansaf recipe here. Thanks again and take care.

  8. This is an excellent recipe! I love makloubeh and always get it when I can, but I’ve never had homemade before until last night! Thank you for this authentic recipe. It was a bit laborious because of all the frying. Next time, I will try roasting all the veggies for a healthier option and to save time and I need to get my hands on some baharat. I used garam masala bc that’s what I had on hand. My family was impressed by the authentic flavors and yummy textures. I’m sure frying everything added to the flavors too. I just needed a teeny bit more salt for my taste though. Still a 5-star imo. Thank you!

    • Hi Ian. Thank you for sharing your experience. I am pleased that you had a time to make maqluba recipe. And I am glad your family love it. You can actually use Garam Masala and it works fine. As a matter of fact, I sometime use Garam masala in this recipe if I ran out of other spices. You can roast or baked the vegetables in the oven instead of frying in the oil if you prefer healthier approach. It works perfectly for this dish. Thanks again and take care

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