Egyptian Chicken Musaqaa

This month in Mena's Cooking Club our host Amira  choose three dishes a savory, an Egyptian Musaqaa,Egyptian Lentil Soup.  For the sweet Omm Ali. 

Moussaka is an eggplant or potato-based dish in the cuisines of the former Ottoman Empire, with many local and regional variations. The English name for moussaka comes from modern Greek mousakás (μουσακάς), which entered Greek from the Turkish musakka,which itself came from Arabic musaqqa‘ah (مسقعة), meaning "chilled". Most versions are based primarily on sautéed eggplant and tomato, usually with minced meat.

Moussaka is a casserole made by layering eggplant and potaotes with a spiced meat filling then topping it off with a creamy bechamel sauce that is baked to golden perfection.It's rich and filling so you won't need many side dishes.  I prepared two musaqaa's , this one with chicken and a meatless musaqaa for hubby dear a vegetarian.

It can be time consuming to prepare, I think you will find that once complete it is a very worthwhile effort.

2 Eggplants (Brinjals)
2 Large Potatoes 
250 Grams Chicken mince
2 Tablespoon Olive oil
2 Onions -  diced
6 Flakes Garlic  -  minced
4 Large Tomatoes - skinned and pureed
2 Tomatoes - skinned & chopped finely
1/2 Cup Red Wine- do not skip this
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon dried oregano
1 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Parsely - I used dried
1 Teaspoon Chilly flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
100 Grams Feta Cheese - crumbled
3/4 Cup Parmesan/ Cheezza cheese - grated
3 Cheese Slices
1 Cup Breadcrumbs - seasoned
3 Eggs -  separated (reserve yolks for Bechamel)

For the Seasoned breadcrumbs

Remove the sides of the bread with a kitchen scissor, cut into small pieces and powder them in a mixer.  To this powder add a teaspoon pepper powder and a pinch of salt. Mix well and keep aside.

To prepare Bechamel Egg Sauce
In the bechamel sauce add a pinch of ground nutmeg and the 3 egg yolks and beat well.  Keep aside.

Slice the eggplant into  1/4 inch long slices and place them in a colander, salt them liberally. Place the colander in the sink so that excess moisture can be drawn out for at least 10 minutes.

Peel the potatoes, slice them in 1/4 inch round slices and immerse them in salt water for about 10 minutes.

In a non-stick griddle heat a little olive oil and place eggplants and fry them on both sides on high heat till brown spots appear. Remove and keep aside in a plate. Like-wise fry the potatoes in same way till brown on both sides. Remove and keep aside in a plate.

Prepare the Chicken layer
Heat olive oil in a large pan. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about a minute. Add chicken mince with chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, cinnamon, oregano, parsely, cumin,chilly flakes salt and pepper.   Add wine and allow the sauce to simmer uncovered so that there is no liquid.  When completely dry add the crumbled feta cheese and switch off the flame.  The wine gives an awesome taste to the chicken with giving a alcohol smell ( so do not skip using it).

Assemble the Moussaka
Lightly grease a baking pan. 
Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with seasoned breadcrumbs. 

Then place  layer of potatoes. Top with a layer of eggplant slices. 

 Add the chicken mix sprinkle once again bechamel egg sauce with bread crumbs, grated cheese. Sprinkle a little oregano, parsely and cinnamon powder on top. Continue with the next layer process...   On top sprinkle  a little bread crumbs, feta cheese liberally, a litttle oregano, parsely and cinnamon powder and it's ready to bake. 

Cover with aluminium foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes.  After it is baked remove the foil and keep on broil for 2 minutes to get a even browning.

Serve it warm or chilled. We had this for your lunch and sent some for my friend. They simply loved this too.

My daughter's comments for both the veg and the non-veg - this is the best Musaqaa in the world, Mom you are the best cook. Yes this is really an awesome dish and the wine in the chicken enhances its flavor even more. 

Check to see what the other members are doing here.


Use this as a base and experiment with your own flavor/spice combinations.

Do not omit using wine in this dish.  Its the wine that enhances the flavor of the musaqaa.

Labels: Continental Cuisine, Vegetables, Healthy, Mena Cooking Club

For the vegetarian version see here
sneha datar
sneha datar

Happy Home-maker and culinary enthusiast.


  1. What an interesting take on it mashAllah.

  2. G'day Interesting dish that looks delish! Nice to meet you through MENA!
    Congrats on completing this month's Egyptian challenge too!
    Cheers! Joanne @What's On The List

  3. Mashaa Allah, you are so brave to try this with chicken :) ... I bet my dad would've liked your version as well as he was a Musakaa lover.