Saffron Chicken Skewers

At times the fast pace of life, responsibilities, and everyday work leaves us preoccupied from enjoying the simple things in life. For this, I was fortunate enough to slow down, unwind and have the honor of being invited to a personal friend’s home, whom I had known for more than a decade, and enjoy a truly traditional Persian meal. Nothing compares to having a home cooked meal roasting over an open flame, in the good company of long lasting friends.

On the menu for that night had been an aromatic marinade of chicken breast, onions, and saffron, known as a popular Iranian dish is called Joojeh Kebab Zafarani, translates to Saffron Chicken Kebab.

Marinated chick is assembled on metal skewers called sikh

Lightly seasoned with salt, the elements of the onion and saffron give the dish its distinct flavor and color.

Chicken skewers placed directly above the burning embers
Chicken skewers with whole tomatoes

The chicken skewers are then beautifully laid above the embers of the charcoal, slowly cooking to perfection. Grilled tomatoes compliment the flavors of the chicken.

Vibrant colors from the Chicken Kebab dish
Chicken kebab with seasoned saffron rice

Before plating, slices of lemon are squeezed gently onto the chicken giving it that extra burst of citrus flavor. A mountain of rice mixed with saffron and seasoning had been prepared by my friend’s lovely mom, was used to eat with the chicken skewers.

From left to right: Uncle Jalal (pit master) ; Brother Amin (skewer assembly expert) 😀

After tasting this dish it is understandable why it is considered one of the more popular dishes in Iranian. Every dish has its own character which enables the person sampling a particular dish to understand the culture of that country. So go ahead, give in to your curiosity and satisfy those cravings until your soul’s content.


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