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Chicken Kebabs with Saffron Sauce

Firing up the grill for some kebabs is the perfect way to welcome warmer weather. We love elevating these chicken kebabs with pickled vegetables and a flavorful saffron sauce. You can either stuff the pitas or slice them in half and serve them more like gyros!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika

  • 8-10 skewers, soaked in water for 30 minutes

  • 4 pitas

Ingredients for saffron sauce:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, soaked in 1 tablespoon warm water

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Ingredients for pickled onion and cabbage:

  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 small head of cabbage, thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • A few sprigs parsley or cilantro


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together minced garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, black pepper, and paprika. Add chicken to the bowl, and toss until the chicken is coated in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to 4 hours.

  2. Preheat the grill or cast iron pan to medium-high heat. Thread the chicken onto skewers.

  3. Grill or sear the kebabs for 10-12 minutes, turning occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through.

  4. While the kebabs are grilling, make the saffron yogurt sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together yogurt, saffron threads and soaking water, minced garlic, lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

  5. To make the pickled onion and cabbage, combine sliced onion and cabbage in a small bowl. In a separate small saucepan, bring white vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onion and cabbage, and let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

  6. To serve, warm up the pita bread on the grill for a few seconds on each side. Serve the kebabs with saffron yogurt sauce, pickled onion and cabbage, herbs, and warm pita bread.

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