Persian Grilled Chicken

– ¾ teaspoon saffron, divided – 1 tablespoon warm water – 1 cup whole-milk plain yogurt – 1 medium onion, finely chopped – ½ cup lemon juice – 1 teaspoon sea salt – 1 teaspoon ground pepper – 3 ½ pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken piece – 2 tablespoons unsalted butter – 1 bunch Cilantro or dill sprigs for garnish


Combine 1/2 teaspoon saffron and water in a large bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in yogurt, onion, lemon juice, salt and pepper.


If using any chicken breasts, cut into 2 equal portions. Add chicken to the marinade and turn to coat. 

Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours, turning the chicken a couple times, if possible. 

When ready to cook, build a medium-hot, multi-zone fire (see Tips) or preheat one section of a gas grill to medium.emove the chicken from the marinade and drain well. 

Oil the grill rack. Grill the chicken, turning once or twice, until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part without touching bone registers 165 degrees F, 16 to 24 minutes total.  

Move the chicken to a cooler spot, as needed, to dodge any flare-ups.Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.

Crumble the remaining 1/4 teaspoon saffron into the pan and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

 Transfer the chicken to a platter and drizzle with the saffron butter. Garnish with cilantro (or dill), if desired.

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