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Chicken Makloubeh

platter of turned makloubeh with carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, and rice

Oh, how I love this dish. Makloubeh is one of the most popular Arabic rice dishes. It’s name literally translates to “Upside down” and that is because the dish is actually flipped upside down onto a platter. The hope is the rice, meat, veggies stay standing when you do for a beautiful visual but regardless tasty! Now, there are many variations to this recipe. There are vegetarian makloubeh which can be done using this recipe minus the chicken. There is also the well-known version with lamb which I have a recipe for already! This variation I am sharing with you today is with chicken. All 3 are very popular and delicious!

Often, for chicken makloubeh, whole pieces of chicken are used like thighs, breast, legs with skin on. I wanted to utilize skinless chicken breast that I had on hand. Sometimes, it is tricky to work with as it cooks fast and dries fast if not cooked or watched properly but follow my recipe and you will have tender chicken! This seasoned rice dish with vegetables and often a protein is so delicious and flexible to work with.

For example, traditionally, the vegetables used for the dish are fried but I opt for baking for a healthier yet just as tasty result. Also, the most popular vegetables used are cauliflower, eggplant, and/or potato but carrots and chick peas are great too. It’s really versatile! This is definitely worth trying! Let me know what you think when you do!

platter of turned makloubeh with carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, and rice
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5 from 7 votes

Chicken Makloubeh

The beloved Middle Eastern upside down dish featuring lots of veggies and chicken as the protein of choice!
Prep Time1 hour
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Arabic
Keyword: chicken makloubeh, Fufus Kitchen, makloubeh, maqloubeh, middle eastern rice dish
Servings: 4 people
Author: Heifa


Chicken Cooking Liquid Ingredients

  • 2 Large chicken breasts, each cut in half
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Cardamom Pods
  • 1 Onion,, quartered

Chicken Marinade Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 1 Lemon's juice
  • 1 tsp Chili Paste
  • 2 tbsp Chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Powder

Vegetable Prep

  • 1 Egpplant, sliced
  • 1 Cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced optional
  • 2 Carrots, thinly sliced optional
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Rice Prep

  • 2 cups White Rice rinsed and drained
  • 1 tbsp Seven Spice
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp Ghee or olive oil
  • 3-4 cups Cooking Liquid (reserved chicken broth)


  • Preheat oven to 375F. Season the vegetables with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix together very well. Add the eggplant last when marinating.
  • Place the vegetables flat onto a lightl oiled baking pan. Bake for 30-40 mnutes flipping them halfway through until the vegetables are tender. The vegetables you choose are optional. I did eggplant, cauliflower, and some carrots for this variation.
  • In the meantime, add the chicken to a pot with water and the other broth ingredients. Bring to a boil then simmer. Remove any residue that may come up to the surface. Allow chicken to cook for about 15-20 minutes until its internal temperature reaches 155 F. Drain and reserve the chicken broth to be used as the cooking liquod for the rice.
  • Then, add the chicken to a baking pan. Mix together the marinade ingredients and pour on top of the chicken. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes or so until the internal temp reaches 165F. After baking, if there is any leftover marinade in the pan; set it aside.
  • Set chicken and veggies aside once they are tender and cooked.
  • At this point, season the rice with salt, pepper, oil, and seven spice. Mix together very well.
  • Time to assemble. Spray pot of choice with nonstick spray, add a sprinkling of rice to the bottom of the pot, then start lining all the vegetables. Then, wedge the chicken pieces into the vegetables. Add all the rice to the top of this evenly.
  • Mix together 3 cups of broth with any leftover marinade from the chicken and pour over the rice. You may need more liquid; but the liquid should just cover the rice by an inch or two and not more.
  • Bring to a light boil and then simmer covered for about 20-30 minutes until all the liquid has been evaporated and the rice is cooked perfectly.
  • Then, flip the pot over a larger serving plate. Give it a nice tap on top and then slowly lift the pot. You may have some bits stuck to the bottom of the pot; those crispy parts are my favorite!
  • Enjoy with plain yogurt and a refreshing salad!

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  1. 5 stars
    This was such a great recipe! I followed it exactly (except I didn’t have chili paste so I left that out) and it turned out amazing! Really tasty and flavorful. Love the chicken marinade.

    1. I came back to review this and see I already did haha. It was just as good the second time as it was the first!

  2. 5 stars
    I had to leave a comment. First, this is one of my favorite dishes hands down! I wanted to try a different recipe. It looks fantastic. But secondly being the american mother in an arab household cooking has become my life. My looks look for it now as they are grown. My Daugher’s nick name is actually Fufu so this is extra special. I named her that from the little rabbit fufu song I used to sing her when she was a baby!

  3. I’ve made this recipe multiple times and it’s always a winner. So easy, and best of all always tastes so good! Thank you Heifa for sharing your magic with us!

  4. 5 stars
    This came out so delicious and flavorful! I was very impressed how easy this was to follow and the results were perfection!! Thanks for helping me create a delicious meal for my family!

  5. 5 stars
    Making this for the table for what we call Feast of Friends (instead of Thanksgiving), I’m so excited! Thank you for the recipe!

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