Chicken Kebab, BBQ’d saffron chicken, is one of my favorite Persian cuisines. It goes great on top of a bed of Persian rice. As well, you can fill it in pita bread as a sandwich or just plainly eat the chicken by itself. The taste for me is so old school. It brings me back to when my father used to barbecue the “yellow chicken” in our backyard for family and guests. There are many people who had the opportunity to taste good Persian food and there are many who have not. Following the steps listed below will leave you with a deliciously spiced and seasoned final result.
I would also like to note that the measures provided in the steps below are just rough estimates. I generally season the chicken by eye and by which seasoning I prefer to have greater influence over the taste. As you become more comfortable with how chicken kebab is prepared, you too should practice this method instead.
Step 1: Materials/Measurements
· 1 – 1 ½ cup of plain yogurt
· 1 ½ tsp of turmeric
· 1 tsp of black pepper
· 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
· 1 – 1 ½ tsp of cayenne pepper
· 1 tsp of salt
· 1 fresh lemon
· 1 fresh onion
· 1/8 tsp of saffron
· 1 ½ oz of boiling water
· 3 lbs of fresh chicken breasts
Step 2: Preparing the Marinade
NOTE: Prepare the chicken 1-2 days before the intended day of cooking
1. Combine the plain yogurt, turmeric, black peper, extra virgin olive oil, cayenne pepper and salt together.
2. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze all the juice into the marinate mixture
3. Grate the onion and collect all the juice left over from the grating. Add the onion bits and juice into the marinade mixture
4. Grind the saffron threads into a find powder. Add 1/8 tsp of that saffron into shot glass containing boiling water. Stir the contents of the shot glass until the consistency of the mixture is the same throughout. Then add to the marinade mixture. (Higher detailed instructions on preparing saffron found here: http://www.wikihow.com/Prepare-Saffron)
5. Stir the marinade well. The mixture color should be yellow throughout with no clumps of seasoning throughout.
Step 3: Cutting the Chicken
1. Properly sanitize each chicken breast by washing them thoroughly under running water
2. Cut the chicken breasts into chunks. It should look similar to the cut pieces above.
Step 4: Marinating the Chicken
NOTE: The longer the chicken is marinated for, the more flavorful and moist it will be once cooked
1. Submerge all the chunks of chicken breasts into the marinade. Be sure to mix each chunk so that the marinate fully coats them.
2. Cover the top of the mixing bowl and store in fridge for 1 – 2 days.
Step 5: Cooking the Chicken
1. Slide the center of chicken chunks down a flat blade screwer. They should be placed side by side with no space inbetween eachother
2. Place each skewer over the grill and cook until the chicken is well done
Step 6: Enjoy!
There are many ways to enjoy chicken kebab. Many people will serve it on a bed of Persian rice. I prefer to use pocketed pita bread and create a sandwich with spinach, lettuce and roasted tomato all packed inside.