Quick and easy, classic Persian saffron chicken kebabs (joojeh kabob) is marinated in a simple yet flavourful saffron and lemon marinade for that classic Iranian flavour. These Persian kebabs are lemony, juicy and tender, and so delicious. It's so quick and easy to prepare and takes about 15 minutes to grill. You can also cook jujeh kabob in the oven or in the air fryer. It's the perfect weeknight meal.
What is Joojeh Kabob?
Joojeh kabob (or jujeh kabob) is one of the most popular dishes in Persian cuisine and one that you will see on the menu of every Persian restaurant. It is grilled pieces of chicken (either with or without bone) marinated in simple marinade consisting of lemon juice, saffron, onions and olive oil. We also added yogurt because it really tenderizes the chicken even that much more.
Here is what you will need to make these delicious saffron chicken skewers:
- chicken breasts - 2 pounds of boneless and skinless chicken breasts (approximately 6 breasts) cut into 1.5-inch pieces. This will give about 8-10 skewers, with 4-5 pieces of chicken on each skewer.
- saffron powder - A high quality Persian saffron is key to get the best flavour and colour. You can use saffron powder or grind down saffron threads into a powder yourself using a mortar and pestle. Grinding the threads into a powder yourself gives the freshest flavour.
- lemon juice - freshly squeezed lemon juice is best, but packaged lemon juice will work fine.
- yogurt - I used plain full-fat yogurt. You can also use low-fat yogurt or Greek yogurt.
- olive oil - I used extra virgin olive oil.
- onions - chopped.
How to Make the Best Persian Chicken Skewers (Joojeh Kabob)
- Marinate the chicken. Add chicken into a zip-loc bag. Add onions, Greek yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice salt and saffron powder. Press the air out of the bag and seal tightly. Press the marinade around the chicken to coat. Place in the fridge to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
- Skewer the chicken. Thread the chicken onto skewers, about 4-5 pieces per skewer.
- Grill the skewers. Lightly brush olive oil over grill pan. Preheat the grill over medium high heat for 5 minutes. You will notice the oil shimmer and sizzle when it's hot and ready. Place the skewers evenly apart on the grill pan and grill for 8-10 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature for the chicken reaches 165 F. Do not overlap the skewers at any time to ensure even cooking for all the skewers.
How to Make Joojeh Kabob in the Oven
To bake in the oven, place the Persian chicken skewers on a baking tray and roast at 480 F for 12-13 minutes, or when the internal temperature reaches 165 F. You can add some charring by then placing under the broiler on high for 1 minute. Keep a close eye on them, because they can burn quickly.
How to Make Joojeh Kabob in the Air Fryer
To cook the Persian kebabs in the air fryer, do not thread them and place about 10 marinated chicken pieces in the air fryer basket at a time. Cook at 350 F for 25 minutes, shaking the basket halfway through. You won't get the charred grill marks but they taste amazing and so tender.
Tips for Making Jujeh Kabob
- Marinate the chicken. It is crucial to let the chicken marinate at least for an hour to allow the flavours to infuse and for it to get juicier. If you are able to let it marinate even longer, it will taste that much better. I prefer letting it marinate overnight, if you have the time.
- Use a digital thermometer. A digital meat thermometer is very useful when grilling skewers for checking doneness. Simply insert halfway inside the meat to get a quick reading so that you never end up with undercooked or overcooked meat.
- Double up the recipe. This recipe that makes about 10 skewers. You can easily double or triple the recipe to feed a crowd.
- How to serve jujeh kabob. Serve jujeh kabob with a serving of basmati rice with saffron, grilled tomatoes, and fresh Shirazi salad with cucumber and tomato on the side. You can also serve them wrapped in pita bread with tomato and cucumber.
- How to store. Unthread the saffron chicken from the skewers and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
More Skewer Recipes
- Easy Greek Chicken Souvlaki Skewers
- Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce
- Teriyaki Chicken Skewers with Pineapple
- Souvlaki Beef Shish Kebabs
- Greek Lamb Souvlaki Skewers
- Spicy Cumin Lamb Skewers
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.