Fatti Dajaj (Chicken Fatti)

Fatti is one of the most famous and distinctive Syrian dishes. Toasted Syrian bread, rice and chicken soaked with yogurt sauce and garnished with nuts. Works great with leftover chicken and stale bread. Other varieties exist with beef, eggplants and and even sheep tongues!


  • 1 chicken hindquarter (or equivalent amount of chicken breast)
  • 1 cup medium-grain rice
  • 3/4 loaf pita bread
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 clove mashed garlic
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For decoration (optional)

  • 1/3 cup cashew or almond halves/or 1/4 pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 4 tablespoon pomegranate seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika


  1. Remove the skin from chicken and cook with some salt, pepper and bay leaves. Shred when cool enough. Any leftover chicken will do just fine. Keep the stock to use later.
  2. Cook the rice adding little salt. Leftover rice works well, just warm it well before assembling fatti.
  3. Cut the Syrian bread into bite-size pieces and toast in the oven until completely crispy, but not brown. Stale bread works even better than fresh.
  4. To prepare the sauce, mash the garlic then add yogurt, tahini and lemon juice in this order (tahini might crumble otherwise). The sauce should be prepared at room temperature and never heated. Add salt to taste, but remember that other ingredients are also salted.
  5. Prepare the nuts (cashew or almonds) by splitting them in half
  6. To assemble fatti, all ingredients need to be warm enough except the sauce. This should be a quick process so that fatti stays warm (you can not heat it), and bread stays crispy enough. Start by mixing rice and bread and half the chicken, and pepper lightly in the serving casserole. Ladle the chicken stock and half the sauce and mix lightly. Sprinkle the rest of chicken on top and pour the rest of the sauce distributing equally.
  7. For decoration, toast nuts in butter or ghee (should be done while assembling fatti), and distribute over fatti. Garnish with chopped parsley, ground red pepper and pomegranate seeds.