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Persian Chicken Joojeh Kebabs | cookingwithcassandra.com

Joojeh Kabob Recipe

This is Dad’s authentic Persian joojeh kabob recipe. Marinated in a saffron mix for 12 hours minimum, these chicken skewers are tender and so flavorful.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 6



  • 6 chicken breasts about 2 lbs, boneless and skinless, cut into 1.5-inch pieces
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads crushed & dissolved in 1 tablespoon of hot water
  • 1/3 Cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly-cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • 8 small to medium firm Roma tomatoes ripe tomatoes (not overly ripe or they will fall apart when you grill them)
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt + Freshly ground black pepper



  • Cut your chicken into 1 ½ inch pieces, set aside.
  • In a mortar and pestle (If you don't have one of those, just grind it in a small bowl using the back of a small spoon or crush with your fingers) grind saffron until powdered.
  • Dissolve the crushed saffron threads in 1 tablespoon of hot water in a bowl for 15 to 20 minutes.
  • Add the diced onion and lemon juice to a blender and puree into a smooth paste.
  • Combine the marinade ingredients — saffron water, onion-lemon juice paste, yogurt, pepper, salt and mix well.
  • Add the marinade to the cubed chicken breast in either a zip lock bag or a bowl and allow the chicken cubes to marinate for a minimum of 12 hours but preferably up to 24 hours to overnight for the best tasting kebabs. (PRO TIP: I have marinated mine before for up to 48 hours! The longer they marinate, the more tender and juicy they will be.).


  • After your chicken has marinated. Thread the chicken onto metal skewers (½ inch wide metal skewers are authentic persian skewers but any metal skewers work well) making sure to pass the skewer through the thick portion of the meat.
  • Grill the skewers. Lightly brush olive oil over the barbeque grill. 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.
  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the kebabs when done and serve.


  • Slide each tomato along the metal skewers and brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt.
  • Place the tomato skewers on the opposite side of the grill as the chicken skewers and cook, turning occasionally, until tomatoes are charred and blistered.
  • When done, remove from the grill and set aside on a platter.