Jujeh Kebabs and Baghali Polo
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6-8 people
- Jujeh Kebabs
- 3 pounds/1.5kg boneless chicken breasts, medium size cubes
- 3 small onions or 1 large, in chunks
- juice of two lemons
- 1 tablespoon turmeric
- pinch of saffron threads, optional
- ½ stick/57g butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons oil, for brushing on
- salt and pepper
- wooden skewers, 10-15 bamboo ones or large metal ones
- Baghali Polo
- 3 cups/500g Basmati rice, soaked about 15 minutes
- 1 stick butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups fresh, shelled or frozen fava beans
- 2 cups of fresh dill, tough stems removed
- a pinch of saffron threads
- 2 teaspoons advieh spice (or seven spice mix), optional
- Jujeh Kebabs
- In the bowl of a food processor, throw in the onion chunks and whiz until pureed.
- In a large bowl, add the chicken cubes, the pureed onions, lemon juice, turmeric and the saffron threads, breaking them up between your fingers as you add them.
- Allow to marinate for about an hour, or while you prepare the rice.
- Once the polo is cooked, grill the chicken.
- Skewer about 5-7 pieces on a wooden skewer.
- Repeat till all the chicken is used up.
- Keep the same size pieces on the same skewer so they will cook at the same time.
- You can add bell peppers or onions to the skewer if desired but I find chicken cooks the best and most evenly when it's by itself.
- Fire up a grill and keep it at medium heat.
- You can also do these in the oven at 400F/200C
- Once the grill is heated and ready, grease the grates with some oil or spray.
- Brush the kebab skewers with some oil and sprinkle with salt.
- Place the prepared skewers on the hot grill.
- Grill 8-10 minutes on the first side and the flip and cook until done, another 6-8 minutes.
- Baste with the melted butter at intervals to keep the chicken moist.
- Some of the bigger chunks may take a little longer, about 12 minutes a side.
- Once the chicken is golden browned and nicely charred and is firm to the touch, remove from the heat and place under foil.
- Grilled tomatoes are a great and classic accompaniment to Persian kebabs.
- Baghali Polo
- Heat a large sauce pan on medium heat with a tablespoon of oil and 2 tablespoons butter.
- Drop in the chopped onions and sauté.
- While the onion is cooking, bring a small pot of water to boil.
- Drop the fava beans into the boiling water and cook about 5 minutes.
- Remove from the heat, and scoop out the fava beans into a bowl of ice water.
- This hot and cold trick with help loosen the thick skin around the fresh fava beans.
- If you are using frozen, buy the ones where they are peeled already.
- Remove the thick skin around the fava beans.
- If you squeeze gently, the tender fava bean should pop out of the skin quite easily.
- Place in a bowl to the side.
- Once the onions have caramelised and are golden, add the garlic and cook a minute.
- Add the shelled and peeled fava beans and toss around for a minute.
- Not too long since they are already blanched.
- Pull off the heat and place aside.
- Roughly chop the dill.
- Soak the rice for about 15 minutes.
- Heat a big pot of water to cook the rice.
- Once the water comes to a boil, add 3 teaspoon of salt and carefully add the drained and soaked rice a little at a time.
- Keep the water boiling and bubbling.
- Stir the rice carefully and at intervals.
- Once the rice grains have elongated and are ¾ done, they still have a bite, remove from the heat and drain with cold water running.
- Carefully run a little cold water over the rice to stop it from over cooking in the strainer.
- In the now empty pot, drizzle in 4 tablespoons of the melted butter into the bottom.
- Add half of the cooked rice and mix gently.
- Layer the onion and fava bean mixture and all of the dill.
- Place the remaining rice over the top in a mound.
- Crumble the saffron into the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Make vent holes in the rice using chopsticks or a wooden spoon handle.
- Sprinkle some water over the rice and into the vent holes.
- About a ¼ cup/60ml
- Pour the butter saffron mixture over the top of the rice.
- If you are using the advieh, a Persian spice mix, sprinkle it over the rice now.
- Place on low heat and steam for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove from the heat and leave untouched for another 10 minutes.
- Don't open the lid, allow to steam.
- After 10 minutes, fluff up and mix the rice altogether.
- Place on a big dish, sprinkle with sumac and serve with the jujeh kebabs, and more butter if desired.
Recipe by Coffee and Crumpets at http://www.coffeeandcrumpets.com/jujeh-kebabs-and-baghali-polo/