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Lime and Saffron Chicken Kabobs (Joojeh Kabab)

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    A hint of lime on chicken kabobs is what really makes this dish pop. Served on basmati rice or tucked into warm bread with assorted toppings, it’s a recipe designed to please all palates.

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    2 lb (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    1 small onion, grated
    1 1/2 cups (350 mL) plain yogurt
    3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
    Finely grated zest of 1 lime
    3 Tbsp (45 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
    1 garlic clove, mashed and chopped
    1 tsp (5 mL) turmeric
    1 tsp (5 mL) salt
    1 tsp (5 mL) saffron threads
    Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
    Lime wedges
    1/4 cup (60 mL) finely minced fresh cilantro
    Cayenne pepper

    Basting Sauce

    Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon
    2 Tbsp (30 mL) unsalted butter, melted

    At least 24 hours ahead, preferably 2 days ahead, cut chicken into 1 in (2.5 cm) chunks.

    Combine grated onion, yogurt, oil, lime zest and juice, garlic, turmeric, and salt in bowl. Dissolve saffron threads in 2 Tbsp (30 mL) hot water. Add to yogurt mix and stir to blend. Add pepper and a little more salt to taste.

    Add chicken to mixture and stir to coat evenly. Cover tightly and refrigerate overnight, preferably 2 days to thoroughly tenderize chicken. Stir chicken in marinade several times each day.

    Remove chicken from marinade and discard marinade. Thread several pieces of chicken onto metal skewers.

    To make basting sauce, combine lemon juice and melted butter in small bowl.

    Preheat grill or a grilling pan, if cooking indoors, and brush grate or pan with oil. Place skewers on hot grill and cook, turning frequently, basting with lemon butter sauce.

    When chicken is done but still tender, remove and slide chicken pieces onto platter. Squeeze a little extra lime juice over chicken and sprinkle with minced cilantro and a light dusting of cayenne pepper.

    Serve on platter of vegetable basmati rice or make a joojeh kabab sandwich by tucking cubes of chicken into warmed bread with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and dollops of plain yogurt.

    Serves 8.

    Each serving contains: 253 calories; 33 g protein; 11 g total fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 5 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugars, 0 g fibre); 391 mg sodium

    source: "Persian Cuisine", alive #377, March 2014

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    Lime and Saffron Chicken Kabobs (Joojeh Kabab)

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