Saffron tinges this mild and flavourful chicken tikka with a beautiful golden colour. The chicken is soft and succulent with the addition of cream in the marinade and baste. It is a great way to gently introduce people to spicy food. Flavoured with ground black pepper but not overly spicy, this tikka makes a wonderful appetizer or lunch when nestled in a bed of salad or wrapped in warm naan. A vegetarian option would be to switch cubes of paneer for the chicken. Read more about pepper in The Story Of Pepper.
Read more about saffron in Glory Of Saffron.
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breast, cubed into 2 inch chunks
6 cloves garlic
1 inch piece ginger
1/4 cup each: crumbled feta or grated cheddar cheese, thick plain yogurt such as Labneh or Balkan style, whipping cream
2 tbsp each: oil, lemon juice, whipping cream, melted butter
Salt to taste
1 tsp freshly ground or crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp each: saffron strands, ground cardamom, toasted ground cumin
Place chicken in deep mixing bowl.
Combine garlic, ginger, cheese, yogurt, 1/4 cup whipping cream, oil, lemon juice, salt, spices and 1/4 tsp saffron strands in mini blender or food processor. Process until smooth.
Pour over chicken, tossing well to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Preheat barbecue to medium. Thread chicken on to skewers and place on barbecue. Grill for about 8 min per side, turning once.
Meanwhile, combine melted butter, 2 tbsp whipping cream and 1/4 tsp saffron in small bowl. Brush generously over chicken towards the last 2-3 min of cooking time.
Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice if desired.