Chicken Kababs | Joojeh Kabab
Chicken Dishes,  Kabab Recipes,  Persian Classics,  Summer Recipes,  Uncategorized

Persian Chicken Kabab – Joojeh Kabab

Nothing beats a plate of aromatic, buttered rice with grilled tomatoes and of course the protagonist of this dish: Joojeh Kabab.

It’s a favourite among our friends and my go-to kabab recipe when we gather for a BBQ. The secret to perfect Persian Chicken Kabab, as you can guess, is the marinade. Keep reading to find out how I make mine.

Persian Chicken Kabab | Joojeh Kabab

When we have many guests I prepare different kinds of kabab and we just enjoy them on their own as finger food. But if you want my honest opinion the best way to eat it is with rice and grilled tomatoes. Yumm!


Joojeh Kabab | Persian Saffron Chicken Kabab | igotitfrommymaman.com
5 from 1 vote
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Joojeh Kabab – Persian Chicken Kabab

Course Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Keyword Chicken, Kabab, Persian, Rice
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Marinating Time 12 hours
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Hami

Ingredients

Chicken and Marinade

  • 2.2 lbs chicken thighs (1 kg)
  • 1 cup lemon juice (bottled) (250 ml)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (60 ml)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tsp paprika powder (use smoked paprika if you like)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp saffron (dissolved in 3 tbsp hot water)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder

Sides

  • 8 medium tomatoes
  • 2 cups basmati rice (400g)
  • 2 tbsp ghee (cleared butter)

Instructions

Marinade

  1. Dissolve 1/2 tsp of saffron in approx. 3 tbsp hot water. I use ground saffron but you can also do it with the threads.

  2. Cut the chicken thighs into 2 to 3 pieces depending on their size. Cut between the two thigh bones, you do not have to cut through the bone. Try to keep as much meat on each bone as possible. Transfer the chicken pieces into a large bowl.

  3. Skin off the onion and quarter it. Separate the layers and add them to the bowl.

  4. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and combine everything with your hands until all the chicken is covered.

  5. Add the spices bit by bit and work them in with your hands in between to make sure they are spread evenly. If you have someone who can help ask them to add the spices while you combine, or combine with one hand and add the spices with the other.

  6. Transfer your chicken and marinate into a large freezer bag (or a plastic container), close it carefully without locking any air in and let the chicken marinate at least 12 hours. I usually marinate the evening before my BBQ so the chicken has plenty of time to soak up all the goodness.

Grill

  1. Wash the tomatoes and leave them whole. Skewer them through the side on your BBQ skewers. Stab each tomato a couple of times with a small kitchen knife. Set them aside.

  2. Skewer the chicken pieces through their narrow sides, so that their larger surface will be facing the charcoals.

  3. If you like to bbq the onions from the marinade, skewer them as well.

  4. Get your BBQ started about half an hour before you want to start cooking. Once the charcoal turns white it is ready to grill the tomatoes. If you made an onion skewer as well you can add it about 5 minutes after the tomatoes.

  5. Prepare the rice and put it on while the tomatoes are grilling.

  6. Keep an eye on the tomatoes and turn them once the skin turned black on one side. They are ready once the skin turned black all around and they are nice and soft. They should take about 15 minutes but it depends on the temperature. When you hold the skewer down they should slide off without you pushing them. Transfer them into a pan with the lid on and put them close to the BBQ to keep them warm.

  7. By now the charcoal’s temperature should be low enough to grill the chicken. It shouldn’t be too hot, so the chicken doesn’t burn on the outside while still rare inside. A lower temperature allows them to cook evenly, get a nice colour on the outside, and stay juicy inside. Turn the skewers regularly and don’t leave them out of side. They should be ready in about 45 minutes but this is only a rough guideline because it depends on the exact temperature of your bbq (and it applies to chicken THIGHS only).

  8. Serve the chicken HOT with rice and tomatoes. Enjoy!

Ingredients (serving 4)

Chicken & Marinade

1 kg chicken thighs

250 ml lemon juice

60 ml olive oil

1 medium onion

2 tsp (smoked) paprika powder

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp saffron

1/2 garlic powder

Sides

8 medium tomatoes

400g basmati rice (you can find my Kateh Rice recipe here)

2 tbsp butter or ghee (cleared butter)

Time

The day before:

Marinating: 12 hours +

On the day:

Prep: 15

Cook: 60

Total: 75 

Joojeh Kabab | Persian Saffron Chicken Kabab | igotitfrommymaman.com

Instructions

Marinade

  1. Dissolve 1/2 tsp of saffron in approx. 3 tbsp hot water. I use ground saffron but you can also do it with the threads.
  2. Cut the chicken thighs into 2 to 3 pieces depending on their size. Cut between the two thigh bones, you do not have to cut through the bone. Try to keep as much meat on each bone as possible. Transfer the chicken pieces into a large bowl.
  3. Skin off the onion and quarter it. Separate the layers and add them to the bowl.
  4. Add the lemon juice and olive oil and combine everything with your hands until all the chicken is covered.
  5. Add the spices bit by bit and work them in with your hands in between to make sure they are spread evenly. If you have someone who can help ask them to add the spices while you combine, or combine with one hand and add the spices with the other.
  6. Transfer your chicken and marinate into a large freezer bag (or a plastic container), close it carefully without locking any air in and let the chicken marinate at least 12 hours. I usually marinate the evening before my BBQ so the chicken has plenty of time to soak up all the goodness.
Marinating chicken for Joojeh Kabab | igotitfrommymaman.com

Grill

Wash the tomatoes and leave them whole. Skewer them through the side on your BBQ skewers. Stab each tomato a couple of times with a small kitchen knife. Set them aside.

Skewer the chicken pieces through their narrow sides, so that their larger surface will be facing the charcoals.

If you like to bbq the onions from the marinade, skewer them as well.

Get your BBQ started about half an hour before you want to start cooking. Once the charcoal turns white it is ready to grill the tomatoes. If you made an onion skewer as well you can add it about 5 minutes after the tomatoes.

Charcoal ready for BBQ

Prepare the rice and put it on while the tomatoes are grilling.

Keep an eye on the tomatoes and turn them once the skin turned black on one side. They are ready once the skin turned black all around and they are nice and soft. They should take about 15 minutes but it depends on the temperature. When you hold the skewer down they should slide off without you pushing them. Transfer them into a pan with the lid on and put them close to the BBQ to keep them warm.

Grilled tomatoes, peppers and onions | igotitfrommymaman.com

By now the charcoal’s temperature should be low enough to grill the chicken. It shouldn’t be too hot, so the chicken doesn’t burn on the outside while still rare inside. A lower temperature allows them to cook evenly, get a nice colour on the outside, and stay juicy inside. Turn the skewers regularly and don’t leave them out of side. They should be ready in about 45 minutes but this is only a rough guideline because it depends on the exact temperature of your bbq (and it applies to chicken THIGHS only).

Joojeh Kabab | Persian Saffron Chicken Kabab | igotitfrommymaman.com

Serve the chicken HOT with rice, tomatoes and onions. You can add some grilled hot or mild peppers as well, if you like.

Joojeh Kabab | Persian Saffron Chicken Kabab | igotitfrommymaman.com

Time to dig in! I hope you enjoy your Joojeh Kabab! Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.

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