Joojeh Kebab Recipe

Joojeh Kebab
Persian Grilled Saffron Chicken
Submitted By: Taz


2 lbs Boneless/Skinless Chicken Breasts -OR- Thighs - trimmed and cut into 1 ½ - 2 inch cubes
1 Large Yellow Onion - finely diced
5 cloves Fresh Garlic - minced
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
¼ Cup Lime Juice - can use bottled Persian lime juice if desired
¼ Cup Olive Oil
1 Tbs Ground Black Pepper
1 Tbs Paprika
1 Tbs Turmeric
2 tsp Kosher Salt - divided
½ gram (1 tsp) Saffron Threads


  1. Place saffron threads in a mortar and pestle along with ½ tsp of the kosher salt and grind into a powder - Transfer to a small bowl and add 2 Tbs boiling water - Set aside and allow to steep for 15-20 minutes to make saffron 'tea'
  2. In a large, nonreactive bowl mix together the yogurt, lime juice, olive oil, pepper, paprika, turmeric, remaining salt, and the saffron 'tea' until thoroughly combined
  3. Add onion and garlic to the yogurt mixture and mix to combine
  4. Fold in the chicken making sure that all of the chicken is well coated - Cover and place in the refrigerator for a minimum of 4 hours (overnight for better results)
  5. Prep your grill -OR- preheat oven to 425ºF
  6. Thread the chicken tight together (no spaces) onto 6-8 skewers (Reserve marinade for basting if desired)
  7. IF GRILLING: Grill over medium-high heat turning occasionally and basting as desired (DO NOT baste in the last 3 minutes of cooking!) - Chicken should be slightly charred and juices should run clear to ensure that it is fully cooked
  8. IF USING OVEN: Place skewered chicken on a lined baking sheet(s) leaving at least 1 inch between -OR- suspend skewers over a deep baking pan
  9. Bake in the top third of the oven for 6 minutes - Flip (baste if desired) and continue to cook for 6 minutes - Flip (baste if desired) and continue to cook for 3 minutes
  10. Increase oven to high broil - Allow to cook for 2-4 minutes until slightly charred - Flip and cook for an additional 2-4 minutes until slightly charred
  11. Remove chicken from skewers (this is not shish kabob) and serve hot with basmati rice or lavash bread, grilled vegetables, and salad -OR- pack in an insulated container for your picnic hamper and serve with pita bread, diced tomatoes, sliced red onion, shredded lettuce, lime wedges, and Toum (Middle Eastern Garlic Sauce) as 'sandwiches'

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