saffron marinated chicken

saffron marinated chicken

marinated in saffron, this chicken dish is juicy, aromatic and perfect on top of charcoal

prep: 30'
cook: 15-20'

The smell of charred saffron chicken pieces on a Friday noon is an inseparable part of my childhood. I always made sure I accompanied my father to the rooftop as he would carefully brush the chicken pieces with melted butter on the skewer, getting them ready to be placed on top of saffron rice.

When chicken breast gets tedious, saffron and grill are my solutions. The marination takes them to a whole new level making them soft, juicy and succulent.


  • 4 boneless chicken thighs
  • yoghurt, any kind, 4 tbsp
  • juice of one small lemon or lime
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • saffron 1tsp
  • salt


The best way to get the most flavour and colour out of the saffron is to steep it. To do this, grind saffron pistils to a fine powder using a pestle and mortar.

  • add 30ml (1 tbsp) of boiling hot water
  • set aside to soak for 5 to 10 minutes
  • in a bowl, mix all the ingredients together
  • mix well and set in the fridge for 30 min to 1 hour
  • oil the surface of the grill with sunflower oil using a brush
  • place the pieces on the hot grill plate and close the lid
  • turn over to grill the other side after 5-7' putting the grill on medium heat.

Serve on a bed of rice topped with saffron, some grilled tomatoes and fresh basil if you like. Traditionally the chickens are barbecued on top of the charcoal.

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