Charcoal Chicken with Tom Sarafian

by Olivia McCrimmon January 18, 2022 2 min read

Charcoal Chicken with Tom Sarafian

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In celebration of launching the delicious dips of Tom Sarafian, we've asked him to share some of his favourite recipes for cooking a summer barby! Today, he's shared his recipe for Charcoal chicken, which is marinated in saffron, cinnamon, ginger and black pepper. He served this alongside some grilled vegetables and plenty of Toum!

Serves 4


  • 1 whole butterflied chicken
  • 1 brown onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 teaspoon saffron threads
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • Sea salt flakes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 jar Sarafian toum
  • 2 zucchini
  • 8 pearl onions or shallots
  • 12 vine ripened cherry tomatoes


  1. Cut the chicken into quarters, separating the breasts and legs and place in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Crumble saffron between your fingers into a small bowl and cover with 3 tablespoons warm water and set aside to bloom for a few minutes.
  3. Grate the onion on a coarse side of cheese grater, then place the pulp into a clean tea towel. Wrap the towel up, then squeeze all the juice into the bowl with the saffron.
  4. Add the olive oil, cinnamon, pepper and ginger and whisk to combine.
  5. Pour over chicken and leave to marinate in a shallow tray, skin side up, uncovered so the skin dries. (this will help the skin turn golden and crisp when you bbq). A couple of hours is good but overnight is best.
  6. Cut the zucchini into 3cm rounds and thread onto stainless steel skewers.
  7. Pick the cherry tomatoes off their vines and skewer like the zucchini.
  8. When ready, light a charcoal bbq and wait until all the coals turn white then season the chicken with sea salt and place over the coals and cook, turning every 5 minutes for 15-20 minutes then rest for 5 minutes and brush with 3 tablespoons of toum all over as its resting.
  9. While the chicken is cooking, arrange the onions around the chicken and cook for 10 minutes until they start to soften, then remove from charcoal and slice the onions in half lengthwise and lay them flat all facing cut side up and skewer.
  10. Lightly oil the vegetables and season with sea salt then cook over the charcoal for 6-10 minutes turning every 2 minutes or until charred and just cooked.
  11. Serve with a bowl of toum on the side.