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Recipe Library

Chicken Stuffed with Lamb (Jaj Ma'a Hashwa)

“In my father’s last restaurant, Perugia, he made this dish as one of five courses in a special Syrian feast. The response was so overwhelming that we put it on the main menu, and it remained there as a favorite for the next seven years. When we opened The Silk Road in 2009, we again put Jaj ma’a Hashwa on the menu. And, again, the response has been tremendous. I now consider this one of my signature dishes. The simple mix of basic flavors, not commonly put together, make this dish stand out among other tomato-based dishes. Lemon and mint with a light marinara, and a hint of roasted spice, makes this dish truly refreshing and memorable.”


  • 1/4C extra virgin olive oil

  • 1T salt

  • 1T garlic paste

  • 2T Harissa

  • 2T lemon juice

  • 2lb chicken thighs or breasts, skin-on


  • 1T extra virgin olive oil

  • ½C onion, minced

  • 1T Harissa

  • 1T garlic, minced

  • 2C tomatoes, peeled & crushed

  • 4T mint, dried

  • 1C lemon juice

  • 1C water


  • 1T extra virgin olive oil

  • ¼C pine nuts

  • 1lb lamb, ground

  • 1T Harissa


  1. Mix oil, salt, garlic, Harissa & lemon juice. Add chicken, marinate for 1 hour in refrigerator


  1. Sauté onion in oil until translucent, then add garlic and Harissa, sautee 3 minutes

  2. Add tomatoes, simmer for 30 minutes.

  3. Add mint, lemon & water, season with salt , simmer 10 min.


  1. Gently sauté pine nuts in oil until golden brown

  2. Add lamb, cook until browned. Drain fat if necessary.

  3. Add Harissa and 1C Jaj sauce and cook until liquid is absorbed, adjust seasoning with salt to taste


  1. In cast iron skillet or heavy bottom sauté pan, seer chicken, skin side down on medium heat until skin is golden brown. Turn over and cook 2-3 minutes

  2. Add 3C Jaj sauce, bring to simmer

  3. Spread lamb stuffing in bottom of casserole dish, arrange chicken on top of stuffing, then pour sauce evenly over chicken.

  4. Cover with lid or foil, bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked.

  5. Serve over rice, and garnish with fresh mint.

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