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Shared by Nicole Enayati

Saffron Roast Chicken

Yield: 8-10 servings

Shared by Nicole Enayati

Saffron roast chicken alongside carafe of jus.
Photographer: Armando Rafael. Food Stylist: Judy Haubert. Prop Stylist: Vanessa Vazquez.

Saffron Roast Chicken

Yield: 8-10 servings

Family Journey

Tehran, Iran
Los Angeles

Nicole Enayati, the co-host of the podcast “A Hot Dog Is a Sandwich,” served this fragrant saffron roasted chicken at the first Shabbat dinner she hosted for her and her husband’s Persian families. It’s very simple to make, but be sure to buy good quality saffron. Serve the chicken with rice to soak up the juices. 

Read more about Nicole’s family in “When an Expert Guest Finally Hosts Her First Persian Shabbat Dinner” and try her recipes for homemade verjus and shirazi salad.


  • 3 teaspoons good quality saffron, freshly ground
  • 2 chickens (4-6 lbs each), patted dry with paper towels 
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil 
  • Juice of 3 limes 
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons 
  • 1 teaspoon salt per pound of chicken
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder 
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
Main CoursesShabbatMeat Middle East


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

  • Step 2

    In a small bowl, add 2-3 ice cubes to the ground saffron. Let the ice cubes melt completely over the spice to bloom it.

  • Step 3

    In a bowl, combine the bloomed saffron water, grapeseed oil, citrus zest and juices, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Use a brush to generously cover both chickens with marinade, including the cavities.

  • Step 4

    Truss the chicken legs with twine and set onto a large, parchment lined baking dish breast-side up.

  • Step 5

    Place into the oven and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes, basting with the juices every 20 minutes or so.

  • Step 6

    Serve immediately.