|For the chicken and
|1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
|1 tablespoon warm water
|1 1/2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt
|1 large onion, finely
chopped (about 2 cups)
|1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
|2 teaspoons salt
|1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
|2 chickens (3 1/2 to
4 pounds each), each cut into 8 pieces
|For basting mixture:
|1/4 teaspoon saffron
|1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
|3 tablespoons unsalted
|1. Prepare the marinade.
Place the saffron in a medium-size bowl and crush to a powder with
a pestle or the end of a wooden spoon. Stir in the warm water and
let stand for 5 minute, then stir in the yogurt, onion, lemon juice,
salt, and pepper.
|2. Rinse the chicken pieces under cold
running water, then drain and blot dry with paper towels. Place the
chicken in a large nonreactive bowl or baking dish and pour the marinade
over them, turning the pieces to coat thoroughly. Cover and let marinate,
in the refrigerator for 24 hours, turning pieces occasionally.
|3. Preheat the grill,
using the two-tiered method. In the chapter "A Crash Course in
Grilling and Barbecuing" Raichlen explains this method. So I am "pasting"
it in here: " When direct grilling over charcoal, I like to use
the two-tier method: Spread one third of the coals in a single layer
over one side (one half) of the grill, the other two thirds on the
other side. Leave a small side portion of the grill free of coals.
This arrangement gives you a super-hot heat source for searing, a
moderately hot heat source for cooking, and a warm spot for keeping
cooked foods warm. You control the heat by moving the food from one
side to the other."
|4. Prepare the basting mixture. Place
the saffron in a small bowl and crush to a powder with a pestle or
the end of a wooden spoon. Stir in the lemon juice and let stand for
5 minutes. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, then
remove from the heat and stir in the saffron mixture.
|5. When ready to cook,
oil the grill grate. Remove the chicken pieces from the marinade and
arrange, skin side down, on the grate over the hotter section of the
grill. Cook until the skin starts to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Move the
pieces to the cooler section of the grill and continue grilling until
the skin is thoroughly browned, 5 to 7 minutes more. Watch carefully
and use tongs to move the pieces away from flare-ups.
|6. Turn the pieces and move them back
to the hotter section of the grill. Brown the second side well (3
to 5 minutes), then move the pieces back to the cooler side of the
grill to finish cooking. The total cooking time will be 16 to 24 minutes.
Brush the pieces once or twice as they cook with the basting mixture,
watching them to see that they don't burn. Season with salt and pepper.
|7. Transfer the chicken
pieces to serving plates or a platter and serve.