This is a dish my Dad cooked often when we lived in Iran when I was a child. Our assigned motor pool driver, Reza, taught my Dad how to make this wonderful chicken. I can remember to this day the smell of this wonderful chicken being grilled on portable Aladdin grills outside shop fronts on Shimran Boulevard (or so it was named in 1960) in Teheran, walking to our favorite bakery for their wonderful 2′ long sheet bread called nan-e sangak. Not sure which aroma was more divine, the chicken or the to-die-for bread cooking in the pebble-based ovens.
My addition to this recipe is the smoked Spanish paprika. I know for certain that was not in the recipe my Mother wrote down & brought back to the States. The original recipe uses a popular Iranian spice, sumac, which can be obtained in better spice stores, ordered on-line from places like Penzey’s Spices…….or you can grow your own like my father did! Sumac is the ground, dried berries/fruit of the sumac bush. It is a slightly acidic, lemony tasting spice that is found in many Iranian, Israeli and other Gulf States dishes. If you can’t get sumac, it can be omitted without great detriment to the final flavor of this dish. This recipe is Atkins Induction friendly and Paleo-Primal acceptable as well. Because it is impossible to calculate the total nutritional info per serving, as that would depend on the specific pieces of chicken eaten, I will just provide the information for each of 10 servings of the marinade (the # of pieces of chicken I get from a chicken, cutting each breast in half) of sauce and you will have to calculate and add in the values for the piece(s) of chicken eaten.
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1 stick unsalted butter or ghee, melted (1/2 c. yogurt to be more authentic, but I warn you, that’s higher in carbs, naturally)
Juice of 2 lemons
Dash each salt and pepper
½ tsp. sumac
1½ tsp. paprika (I use smoked Spanish paprika)
½ tsp. turmeric
1 onion, minced very fine
1 whole chicken, cut into 10 pieces
DIRECTIONS: Melt the butter in a small sauce pan or in your microwave. Add all other marinade ingredients. Stir well and remove from heat. If using the more authentic yogurt, just stir the ingredients into the yogurt and marinate. Cut up the chicken into 10 pieces (I reserve the back for making stock). Place chicken into gallon ziploc bag. Pour 1/2 of the marinade over the chicken. Zip bag and manipulate it to coat each piece of chicken well with marinade. Set rest of marinade aside for basting later. Allow the chicken to marinate in the refrigerator for 3-4 hours. Prepare charcoal grill. When the coals are hot and ready, place chicken on the grill and cook on each side until done, basting often with the remaining marinade mix. Cooking takes about 20 minutes on a side to get the chicken properly done (longer if cooked far from coals, indirectly). Serve with grilled vegetables, green vegetable or a classic sour cream/yogurt cucumber mint salad. ENJOY
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes ample marinade/sauce for 10 pieces of chicken. Each serving of the marinade only contains:
9.2 g fat
1.87 g carbs, 1.2 g fiber, .67 NET CARBS
1.3 g protein
17.9 mg sodium