Go Back
+ servings
Joojeh Kabab
Print Recipe
4.75 from 4 votes

Joojeh Kabab | Grilled Saffron Chicken

Succulent grilled saffron chicken.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Marinating Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Assyrian, Middle Eastern
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 545kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner


  • 3 lbs. chicken breast or boneless/skinless thighs (cubed)
  • 1 medium red onion (quartered)
  • 1 large green bell pepper (cubed)
  • 1 medium zucchini (sliced into ¼" slices)


  • 1 large yellow onion (ground and strained)
  • cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 tsp. thyme (optional)


  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • ¼ tsp. ground saffron (dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water)


  • Cut chicken into 2" cubes and add to a Ziploc bag. Prepare the red onion, bell pepper, and zucchini, then set aside.


  • Run the yellow onion through a food processor then drain the liquid through a strainer. Freeze the onion pulp for future use. 
  • Mix the onion juice with freshly squeezed lemon juice, pressed garlic, salt, pepper, and thyme (optional).
  • Pour the marinade over the chicken in the ziplock bag. Seal and allow to marinate for 4 or more hours.
  • Skewer the chicken on metal skewers, alternating with onions, peppers, and zucchini. 

Baste and Grill

  • Dissolve ground saffron in 1 tablespoon of hot water, then mix with the melted butter. Baste the chicken with the saffron butter.
  • Barbecue over medium heat for 5 to 7 minutes per side or until the chicken is cooked to your liking. Continue to baste the chicken until it's done cooking or you run out of basting mix.
  • Serve over dill rice or vermicelli rice.


  • Unlike most marinades, this marinade does not include oil. I left it out because the chicken is basted with butter as it cooks. If you would like to add some olive oil, mix ¼ cup into the marinade.
  • Some Joojeh Kabob recipes call for yogurt in the marinade. If you want to add yogurt, mix ¼ cup of plain yogurt into the marinade.
  • Sometimes the vegetables are skewered separately from the chicken. This is especially a good idea if you have vegetarians dining with you.


Calories: 545kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 74g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 248mg | Sodium: 1360mg | Potassium: 1574mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 765IU | Vitamin C: 61mg | Calcium: 58mg | Iron: 2mg