Guest chef

Josh Katz

Josh Katz is the chef-owner of Berber & Q in London, serving grilled and smoked meats cooked over charcoal with mezze from the East and music from the West.  

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Turmeric and saffron chicken pitta with blackened chilli sauce

  • Makes 6
  • Prep 50 mins
  • Total time 1 hr 5 mins, plus marinating
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Turmeric and saffron chicken pitta with blackened chilli sauce
Turmeric and saffron chicken pitta with blackened chilli sauce

step by step

  • 1For the marinade, steep the saffron in 120ml boiling water, then cool to room temperature. Mix the rest of the marinade ingredients in a bowl with some seasoning, then whisk in the saffron water. Add the chicken thighs and massage the mixture into the chicken to ensure it’s well coated. Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge for 4-6 hours or preferably overnight.
  • 2Make the blackened chilli sauce; put the prepared chillies, garlic and vinegar in a small food processor bowl with 1 teaspoon of salt and blitz to a coarse paste. With the motor running, slowly pour the oil into the blender until smooth. Cover and chill.
  • 3Heat the grill or barbecue to hot. Thread the chicken pieces onto metal or soaked bamboo skewers intermittently with the red pepper and red onion wedges, then grill until nicely coloured and cooked all the way through, about 6-8 minutes on both sides. Remove from the skewers.
  • 4Brush the pittas or flatbreads with a little olive oil and a drop of water, and warm through briefly on the barbecue or under the grill. Cut open and add the grilled chicken, pepper and onion, some cucumber salad, chilli sauce and a spoonful of yogurt. Finish with the picked herb leaves.
  • To blacken chillies or peppers, roast over the open flame of a hob, or place under a very hot grill, turning every few minutes, until blackened and blistered all over. Transfer to a sandwich bag, seal and leave to sweat for a few minutes while they cool. Peel and discard the papery black skin.
  • Get the recipe for the accompanying cucumber salad here.

    Recipe photograph by Kris Kirkham


Get ahead

Marinate the chicken and make the chilli sauce up to 2 days ahead.
The chicken can be frozen in its marinade in a freezer bag. Defrost in the fridge before using.
Assemble the kebabs, make the salad a few hours before; chill.

You will need

  • 6 skinless and boneless chicken thigh fillets, trimmed and quartered
  • 2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into wedges
  • 2 small red onions, cut into wedges
  • 6 white pitta breads or flatbreads
  • cucumber salad, to serve
  • picked leaves of mixed herbs such as parsley, dill, mint and coriander (about 40g in total)

For the chicken marinade

  • a pinch of saffron
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 onion, grated coarsely
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt, plus extra to serve
  • 1½ tbsp olive oil, plus extra for the pittas

For the blackened chilli sauce

  • 100g red chillies, blackened (see Kitchen Tip), deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 50ml vegetable oil

+ Nutritional Information