Saffron and lemon chicken, joojeh kabab

2015-08-11 19.58.25

Check out that yellow! Coming out of the oven, I could not believe how yellow the dish was. My disbelief is a bit misplaced, as I added a generous amount of saffron and turmeric, so I should have known better. This is one of the prettiest savoury dishes I have made, and if I may say so myself, the flavour is not far behind the looks. I served it with cumin rice for the boyfriend, and with cauliflower “rice” (pictured) for me.

Once again, the wonderful Persiana cookbook gave a very nice recipe. It did make me scratch my head at one point, saying that only the chicken from the marinade goes in the oven. The first (ten) times I read, I thought that the onions are discarded. Still, they were shown on the photo, so I realised that both the chicken AND the onions go in the oven. Onions ❤

I modified the recipe slightly. Very slightly. Do not forget the onions!


4 onions, cut in half and thinly sliced into half moons
juice of 5 lemons
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground turmeric
400g (14oz) Greek yogurt
3 tbsp crushed sea salt
generous pinch of saffron threads
3 tbsp boiling water
6 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 5cm (2in) pieces


Put the onions, lemon juice, olive oil, turmeric, yogurt, and sea salt into a large mixing bowl and mix well. Pour the boiling water over saffron and leave to infuse for 5–10 minutes.

Add the chicken to the mixing bowl. Mix well to evenly coat the chicken pieces in the yogurt, then add the saffron water to the bowl and mix thoroughly.

Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave the chicken in the refrigerator to marinate for a minimum of 1 hour or preferably overnight. Once the chicken has been marinated, preheat the oven to 200 C. Line a large baking sheet with nonstick baking paper.

Remove each piece of chicken from the marinade using a slotted spoon. Lay out all the pieces of chicken on the prepared baking sheet. Remove the onions and put them over and around the chicken. Bake for 18–20 minutes, or until the pieces have slightly charred edges but remain beautifully moist on the inside. Serve with flour tortilla wraps, basmati rice, or cauliflower rice with a little salad and some yogurt.


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