April 15, 2010

Saffron Chicken (Stove-Top Method)

This is a simple, easy and delicious dish that's a favorite in our home. It 's my stove-top version of chicken kabab (joojeh kabab) which I make quite often but never thought about writing a post on it until I made them yesterday and again today! This dish may be served with rice but we also like it with some salad on the side such as salad Shirazi or a fresh green salad with lemon dressing.

The other day, while walking through the poultry aisle of the store, I noticed the stacks of neatly packaged chickens all labeled and priced. I remembered the early years of my life when we had chickens, roosters and ducks in our own backyard among tens of pigeons, and other animals moving around freely. Now, preparing and making dinner is so much easier and more convenient than in the past when people would really labor to put food on the table, and in many places still do. I'm glad I don't have to go through the cleaning and defeathering of chickens as my mother used to do back home many years ago!

Saffron Chicken (Stove-Top Method

Serves 4-6

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, sliced in half lengthwise
1 large onion, grated (using a hand grater or a food processor)
2-3 tablespoons olive oil (I used extra virgin)
Juice of 2 lemons/limes (add more if you like)
1-2 tablespoons of yogurt *optional
1/2 teaspoon of powdered saffron dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons of hot water
Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.
  2. Cover and marinate overnight or for at least 10-12 hours in the refrigerator to blend flavors.
  3.  Brush the surface of a skillet grill pan with a thin layer of oil and place on medium to high heat.
  4. Discard marinate and place the chicken on the grill and brown quickly on both sides. Then cover and cook for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, remove from skillet and serve.
  5. Sprinkle juice of a lemon/lime. *optional
Serve with salad, yogurt and bread or rice and grilled tomatoes.



  1. nice, simple, elegant and beautiful, azita joon. grilled tomatoes- my ultimate fave! x shayma

  2. what a great simple recipe! I will tag for myself :) Since too 'hot' and lazy to cook, this is really a good choice and I don't have to spend too much time around the kitchen anymore.

    Same as like you, We used to have many chicken and rooster. And no chemical at all. But this time is totally different.

  3. Such a simple dish and yet spiced up with the saffron chicken. Another delicious meal!

  4. This recipe is so wonderful and so healthy too! I plan on making it for the hubby next week, I'll let you know how it goes - he loooves Persian food (well, so do I) :)

    Thanks for posting yet another fantastic recipe!

  5. fantastic with saffron! Excellent recipe!

  6. I'll try it nest week

  7. Wow, this chicken must taste as good as it looks...love saffron and like the idea of the yogurt in it :-)

  8. Oh my, this sounds so good and so simple - just love what yogurt does to chicken

  9. Hi Azita,
    the chicken was delicious. I did two batches. One like in your recipe and the second one in the oven on the skewers like I am doing my daughter's and her friends' favourite chicken.
    Both results were very tasty, only in the oven the chicken doesn't take the beautiful colour, however in the oven you can put it and do not care about it for 20 minutes.

    In case you would like to try the simply and fast recipe for a chicken I am doing (very good invention for parties), here you are:

    Marinade for something like 500-800g of chicken, skinless and boneless breasts:
    3-4 minced garlic cloves, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 2 Tbsp curry, oil (curry and oil to cover the meat and to your liking, I like a good amount of curry)
    Slice chicken breasts into the long stripes - lengthwise - from a whole breast from one chicken I usually have 5-6 stripes and put into the marinade into the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight or longer is even better.
    Thread the chicken stripes onto the skewers (I am using wooden ones bit it doesn't matter) like a ribbon and bake in the oven for 20 minutes in 200 C (something like 390 F).
    Usually I am using the Aluminum foil to cover the backing form to avoid the mess later on. Do not put the chicken skewers in layers in the backing form since it will not bake properly. Serving this chicken with the ketchup-mayo-tomato mark sauce and baked potatoes makes children really satisfied but with a yogurt with garlic and cucumber is nice as well.

    But your chicken we had with couscous with dried fruits and your shirazi salad - very yummy combination :-)

    1. Thank you for the wonderful chicken recipe. Sounds delicious! I’ll definitely give it a try! Thank you very much. Wioletta, do you have a food blog?

  10. Hi Azita,

    I am happy to hear you want to give it a try. So please write later on if you liked it or not, and please try not exceed 20 minutes backing time, otherwise the chicken will be too dry.

    I do not have a food blog, sometimes I am thinking to create one but there are plenty of such nice blogs there, like yours, that I do not know if it makes sense anymore. Your blog is focused on the Persian cuisine, it is a blog with a clear idea and a big heart and in my case I am cooking so many different things that I am thinking that my blog could be a real mess. Let's say I haven't found any good idea for one. But maybe one day...
    I only had an experimental blog during my additional studies :-) (wiolakk.wordpress.com) just to learn how to do that.