Pomegranate Chicken Recipe
I've been wanting to cook with pomegranates for some time, but for some reason I keep postponing the experiment. We've harvested a lot of sweet, juicy and delicious pomegranates in the last 4-5 months , but what can I say, I'm a procrastinator, so I’ve waited until the very last fruit ripened on our tree to give it a shot. I should learn from my mother-in-law, who has been diligently extracting the juice for my father-in-law regularly this winter.
Like I said, I only had one fruit, so I used it as garnish for a chicken dish. To reinforce the pomegranate flavor, I made a glaze for the chicken with pomegranate paste, sumac and orange juice. The acidity of the fruit is an unconventional meat tenderizer, but very effective. The chicken came out moist, flavorful and succulent. It’s definitely worth making again, and not waiting till the last minute to do so!
Yields: 6 servings2 pounds chicken thighs, skinless
½ teaspoon baking powder
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon sumac
1 teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
¼ teaspoon red chili powder
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
4 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
2 teaspoons salt
¼ cup pomegranate paste
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
4 tablespoons canola oil (or any neutral oil)
¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds
Making pomegranate glaze: Juice the orange. Be sure to remove the pulp, using a strainer. Place the orange juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a gentle simmer for about 10 minutes. The liquid should reduce to about 6 tablespoons of orange concentrate. Remove from the heat. Add the pomegranate paste and sherry vinegar.
Marinating the chicken:
Wash the chicken pieces and pat them dry using paper towels.
In a bowl, combine the minced garlic, baking powder, red chili powder, sumac, salt and white pepper. Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of the pomegranate glaze. Mix well.
Place the chicken in a large bowl or a sealable zip-top bag. Add the content of the bowl and 2 tablespoons of mint leaves. Drizzle with about 1 tablespoon of oil. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Cooking the chicken:
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Add brown sugar to the remaining pomegranate glaze. Set aside.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes ahead of time to bring it back to room temperature before cooking it. Pat the chicken dry one more time using paper towels.
In a large non-stick pan, heat the rest of the oil. Brown the chicken on each side. As soon as all pieces are nicely golden (about 5-7 minutes), turn off the heat, wait for about 5 minutes for the pan to cool a little, then add the pomegranate glaze. Scrape the caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Make sure each piece is well coated with the glaze.
Brush a baking pan previously lined with parchment paper with a little oil. Transfer the chicken onto the baking pan. Loosely cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. Place in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove the foil, then baste the meat using a silicone brush with the cooking juice. Continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
Add the remaining mint leaves and garnish with pomegranate seeds. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes.
Thermometer should register 165°F in the thickest part of the bird or the juice should run clear when you crack around the thighs.
Serve warm with mashed sweet potatoes on the side.
I love the tenderness of chicken thighs and legs but you can use chicken breast as well.
You can find pomegranate paste in Middle Eastern markets. If you live in the Bay Area, check out the Rose Market, 1060 Castro St, Mountain View, CA 94040.
Published By: on February 22, 2011.