Sunday, April 17, 2011

Jooeh Kebab: A Delicious Grilled Chicken Recipe

My husband grilled up a new-to-us recipe: Jooeh Kebab or Grilled Chicken with Saffron, an Iranian dish. This recipe is from The Barbeque Bible. It is marinated first then barbequed with a flavored butter basting.

My husband had cut up two whole chickens and cooked the parts, per the recipe. The exterior of the chicken was crispy due to the basting. The chicken was tender and had a great flavor due to the marinade which is a yogurt base. However, as I ate the thicker chicken breasts I noted no flavor went to the thick pieces and I told my husband ideally, I thought this recipe should either be for pieces like legs and wings and thighs or else cut up large pieces of white meat into kebabs. He then told me the original recipe called for kebabs but this author changed it to parts. (I didn’t know the name of the recipe at the time I said that.)

We own just a couple of cookbooks for grilling; this is one of the keepers.

Recipe adapted by me from The Barbeque Bible: Jooeh Kebab

Chicken and Marinade:

½ tsp saffron threads

1 Tbsp warm water

1.5 cups plain yogurt

1 large onion diced fine

½ cup lemon juice

2 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

2 chickens (3-4 lbs. each), cut into pieces OR white meat cut into kebab chunks

Basting mixture:

¼ tsp saffron threads

1 Tbsp lemon juice

3 Tbsp unsalted butter

To make marinade:

1. Crush saffron in a mortar and pestle then put it in a bowl. Add the warm water and stir, let stand 5 minutes. Stir in everything else for the marinade.

2. After rinsing chicken and preparing pieces, add the chicken into the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and let marinate 24 hours in the refrigerator.

When ready to cook, preheat grill.

Then, make basting mixture:

1. Crush saffron in a mortar and pestle, and then put in a small bowl.

2. Stir in lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes.

3. Melt butter and add to the basting mixture.

Put chicken on the grill, skin side down (if using whole pieces) and baste it. Turn when ready, and baste. Keep basting the chicken as it cook thoroughly. Grill using standard chicken grilling techniques. Be sure to cook the chicken thoroughly. If you are cooking parts remember the small pieces will be finished before the thick ones, use an internal thermometer to check if you feel uncomfortable knowing when the breasts are thoroughly cooked.