Saffron Chicken & Cherry Tomato Kebabs


Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Serves:


Appears in

My Street Food Kitchen

My Street Food Kitchen

By Jennifer Joyce

Published 2015

  • About

Jujeh kabab—Iranian chicken skewers—are a simple but mesmerising dish with saffron garlic butter. Cherry tomatoes are added to keep it fresh. Eat them with the traditional saffron rice pilaff or wrap in warm flatbread with yoghurt and herbs.

Preparation: 15 Minutes, Plus 1 Hour Marinating
Cooking: 10 Minutes


  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 onion, grated
  • finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes or Aleppo pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 heaped teaspoon saffron threads
  • 45 g ( oz) butter, melted
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 250 g (9 oz) large cherry tomatoes


Cut the chicken breasts into 4 cm ( inch) pieces and put them in a non-metallic bowl. Add the onion, lemon zest, half the lemon juice, the chilli flakes and olive oil.

Put the saffron threads in a small bowl and crush them with the end of a knife or rolling pin. Pour 1 teaspoon of boiling water over the threads and stand for 1 minute to infuse. Add half the saffron mixture to the chicken, season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and massage the marinade into the flesh. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight if time permits. Add the melted butter and garlic to the bowl with the remaining saffron and combine well. Set aside for cooking.

If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for at least 10 minutes to prevent them from burning during cooking. Just before cooking, thread the chicken and tomatoes onto skewers.

Preheat a barbecue or chargrill pan to medium heat. Brush the chicken skewers with the saffron butter and grill for 2-3 minutes on each side. Keep brushing with the saffron butter to keep them moist. Serve the chicken and tomato skewers with Saffron Rice Pilaff or wrap in warm flatbread.