Sumac Chicken, Time Machines, and Fame

Palestinian Entree



¾ teaspoon cardamom
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ teaspoon pepper
¾ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons sumac
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
3 pounds chicken breasts
4 medium red or yellow onions
2 tablespoons olive oil (2 more tablespoons later)
2 tablespoons olive oil
⅓ cup chicken stock
no-stick spray
12 ounces flatbread (taboun, lavash, or pita)
¼ cup slivered almonds


9″ x 13″ casserole dish

Serves 6. Takes 2 hours 20 minutes.


Add cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, salt, and sumac to mixing bowl. Combine with fork. Add lemon juice. Mix with fork until well blended. Add chicken breasts. Mix with hands until chicken is well coated. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours.

While chicken marinates, dice onions. Add onion and 2 tablespoons olive oil to pan. Sauté at medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Stir frequently. Remove and reserve onion. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil and marinated chicken to pan. Sauté at medium heat for 5 minutes or until chicken breasts brown. Flip chicken breasts once. Add chicken stock and blend with spoon. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Remove from heat.

Spray casserole dish with no-stick spray. Add flatbreads to casserole dish so that they overlap. Spoon the sautéed onion evenly over flatbread. Place chicken breasts on top of onion. Ladle pan juices over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle slivered almonds over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for another 5 minutes or until chicken is done and flatbread turns golden brown.


1) Sumac Chicken backwards in Nekcihc Camus.

2) Amy Camus backwards is Yma Sumac.

3) Yma Sumac has a star on Hollywood Boulevard.

4) I’ve seen her star.

5) You might think that she herself put her star in the sidewalk of Hollywood Boulevard and through mystical powers led me to it. Years later, I wrote up this event in this blog and in a recipe in a cookbook. Now, you’ve read this.

6) Then a time machine showed up at my door. Ms. Sumac had set it to do this.

7) I got in. The time machine went back to the time when I saw her star on the Boulevard.

8) This sort of thing happens all the time.

9) It’s almost a cliche.

10) But wait! There’s more.

11) After I hopped out of the time machine, it went back to the 1950s when she showed this enthusiastic blog to band leaders.

12) Suitably impressed, she gained one singing gig after another, specializing in exotica music.

13) Heads of recording studios saw her and heard her as well. Whiz, bam, bing, she put out one fantastic album after another.

14) She had made it big.

15) Big enough to rate a star on Hollywood.

16) It just goes to show you what a little pluck and a time machine can do.

17) Of course, it didn’t hurt that she had a range over four octaves

18) In 1946, the Peruvian government formally recognized her claim to be descended Athualpa, the last Incan Emperor. You might think that her heritage propelled into stardom, But you’d be wrong; the influence yielded by the once mighty Incans had been negligible for over 400 years..

19) No, she had made it big from her drive, her voice, my blog, and a time machine. Proof you cannot deny.

20) Yma died in 2008, at the end of her life.


– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.


Check out my latest novel, the hilarious apocalyptic thriller, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms? It’s published by HumorOutcasts and is available in paperback or Kindle on

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