Grilled Chicken With Saffron

READY IN: 40mins
Recipe by diner524

Posting from ZWT6 for Iran region. This is from the "The BBQ Bible" cookbook by Steven Raichlen. This will be one of the easiest and most delectable recipes you will ever prepare. The yogurt and lemon juice tenderize the chicken, while the saffron perfumes the flavor. The recipes use 8 chicken pieces, but cook drumsticks on one skewer, thigh on another and chicken breasts on another. This allows for the different cooking times needed for the different pieces.

Top Review by Laura M.

I have made this many times and it is delicious! Love to grill the chicken outdoors over charcoal, along with some tomatoes and other summer veggies. I usually serve with grilled flatbread and/or a Persian pistachio dill rice with butter crust, and a nice cold rose wine. I also make a cucumber yogurt sauce for those who want it. For a lighter meal or lunch, it is stellar with a cucumber/tomato/onion/mint/lemon/olive oil salad. One of my favorite summer meals and it looks so pretty.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Place the saffron in a medium-size bowl and crush to a powder with a pestle or the end of a wooden spoon. Stir in the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes, then stir in the yogurt, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
  2. Rinse off chicken pieces under cold running water, then drain and blot dry on paper towels. Place chicken in large nonreactive bowl or re-sealable bag and pour the marinade over them, turning the pieces to coat thoroughly. Cover and let marinate, in the refrigerator, for 24 hours, turning the pieces occasionally.
  3. Preheat the grill, medium in one are and high heat in another area.
  4. Prepare the basting mixture. Place saffron in a medium bowl and crush it again to a powder. Stir in lemon juice and let sit for 5 minutes. Melt the butter in a small saucepan on low heat, then remove from heat and stir in saffron mixture.
  5. Place chicken pieces on oiled grate, skin side down, on high heat and allow to brown for several minutes and then move them to med/low heat for several minutes. Now flip chicken pieces over and place on high heat til browned and again move over to the low heat to cook through. Baste pieces a couple of times during grilling. Be careful to watch for flareups and don't burn them. Season with salt and pepper.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a