Maftoul – The Palestinian Chicken Noodle Soup

Last Updated on January 1, 2023 by Jacqueline Rafidi

This is the epitome of comfort food to me. There is nothing that warms my soul more than this soup. This is one of my dad’s specialties and he makes it often, in hot or cold weather – usually with a Cornish hen instead of chicken. This isn’t the typical version of maftoul – which usually contains the chicken on the bone, less vegetables and added chick peas, but this is what I grew up with and what I love! When I’m sick, this cures me. When I’m happy, this makes me ecstatic. I truly hope you give this a try so a piece of my home growing up can come to you! When you make this or any of my recipes, please share on Instagram and tag me @thebitewithjackie so I can see!

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Ingredients:
1 whole bone-in, skin-on chicken, cut up into segments
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon allspice
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste
1 medium onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 cups water
2 russet potatoes, peeled and diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
2-3 celery stalks, diced
2 zucchini, diced

For the Maftoul
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups maftoul (can substitute for pastina or pearl couscous)
1 teaspoon allspice
Salt to taste
3 cups water – or enough to cover the maftoul over about 1 inch

Directions:
Place the chicken in a large bowl. Season with the allspice, nutmeg, turmeric, salt and pepper and rub the spices in until chicken is completely covered.

In a large soup pot on medium heat, add the olive oil. Once heated through, place each piece of chicken skin side down and brown them in batches. This is not cooking the chicken through, just starting to season the chicken and the pot. Remove each piece from the pot once browned on all sides and place on a plate. Set aside.

Add in the onions, tomatoes and garlic to the pot and begin scraping down the brown bits at the bottom of the pan – the juices from the tomatoes should help lift that right off, but if not, add a splash of water. Stir until onions are softened and tomatoes are beginning to melt. Add all the chicken back in starting with the larger pieces at the bottom of the pot. Cover all the chicken with the 10 cups of water (use more or less water depending on the size of your pot and how much soup you want. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer on low for 45 minutes to one hour. In the meantime, carefully scoop out any of the scum and oils from the chicken that rises to the top of the pot. This will ensure a clean broth.

After the 45 minutes to 1 hour pass, remove the chicken to a clean plate. Let it cool for 10 minutes or until you can handle it with your hands. Add in the potatoes to the pot and stir. Remove the skin from the chicken and shred the meat off the bones, set the chicken aside. At this point, add in the carrots and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add in the zucchini.

At this point, start on your maftoul. In a small pot on medium heat, add the olive oil, the allspice and maftoul. Stir until the maftoul begins to toast and it is coated with the spices and oil, then add the water – enough to cover the maftoul by about 1 inch, similar to rice. The maftoul will soak up the majority of this water. Let it cook uncovered until the maftoul is aldente or as the box directs. Once cooked through, set aside. At this point, all the vegetables in the soup should be done cooking. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot, taste to see if it needs more salt. To serve, place the maftoul in a bowl and pour the soup on top or around the maftoul and enjoy my favorite soup ever!

Maftoul – The Palestinian Chicken Noodle Soup

There is nothing that warms my soul more than this soup. 
Course Soup

Ingredients
  

  • 1 whole bone-in skin-on chicken, cut up into segments
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 2 to matoes diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 10 cups water
  • 2 russet potatoes peeled and diced
  • 2-3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2-3 celery stalks diced
  • 2 zucchini diced

For the Maftoul

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups maftoul can substitute for pastina or pearl couscous
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 cups water – or enough to cover the maftoul over about 1 inch

Instructions
 

  • Place the chicken in a large bowl. Season with the allspice, nutmeg, turmeric, salt and pepper and rub the spices in until chicken is completely covered.
  • In a large soup pot on medium heat, add the olive oil. Once heated through, place each piece of chicken skin side down and brown them in batches. This is not cooking the chicken through, just starting to season the chicken and the pot. Remove each piece from the pot once browned on all sides and place on a plate. Set aside.
  • Add in the onions, tomatoes and garlic to the pot and begin scraping down the brown bits at the bottom of the pan – the juices from the tomatoes should help lift that right off, but if not, add a splash of water. Stir until onions are softened and tomatoes are beginning to melt. Add all the chicken back in starting with the larger pieces at the bottom of the pot. Cover all the chicken with the 10 cups of water (use more or less water depending on the size of your pot and how much soup you want. Bring it to a boil and let it simmer on low for 45 minutes to one hour. In the meantime, carefully scoop out any of the scum and oils from the chicken that rises to the top of the pot. This will ensure a clean broth.
  • After the 45 minutes to 1 hour pass, remove the chicken to a clean plate. Let it cool for 10 minutes or until you can handle it with your hands. Add in the potatoes to the pot and stir. Remove the skin from the chicken and shred the meat off the bones, set the chicken aside. At this point, add in the carrots and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add in the zucchini.
  • At this point, start on your maftoul. In a small pot on medium heat, add the olive oil, the allspice and maftoul. Stir until the maftoul begins to toast and it is coated with the spices and oil, then add the water – enough to cover the maftoul by about 1 inch, similar to rice. The maftoul will soak up the majority of this water. Let it cook uncovered until the maftoul is aldente or as the box directs. Once cooked through, set aside. At this point, all the vegetables in the soup should be done cooking. Add the shredded chicken back into the pot, taste to see if it needs more salt. To serve, place the maftoul in a bowl and pour the soup on top or around the maftoul and enjoy my favorite soup ever!
Keyword Maftoul, Maftoul – The Palestinian Chicken Noodle Soup

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