We eat a lot of chicken. I love it grilled, roasted, pan fried, deep fried, and simply boiled in aromatics. With that said, I can easy get bored with the same seasonings that I add to my chicken. Because of this I have become more adventures in an effort to ward off boredom and to spice things up. Today’s Pomegranate Chicken is a direct result of my adventures in the kitchen where I experiment.
A few years ago I posted a Thanksgiving turkey recipe that I had brined in pomegranate juice. I decided to do something similar with my chicken. I have to give you a full disclaimer though, the Sous Chef and I have a bit of a difference in opinion about the cooking method of this recipe. So I am going to include both and let you tell me which you like best.
Also, in an effort to see if I could make this recipe a bit less laborious, I came to the conclusion that my original thought about juicing my own pomegranate seeds verses using store bought juice was correct. In fact, when I experimented with store bought juice, I realized that the final product was not as flavorful and the color of the chicken was also different. In a nutshell I highly recommend taking the time to juice your own pomegranates.
Now onto the cooking method. From the beginning my plan was to grill the chicken. What I imagined was an easy recipe where you can marinate the chicken pieces at night, come home the following day from work, throw it on the grill, and in about half hour they are ready! I should say that grilling the chicken added a nice flavor to it and it was my favorite. On the other hand, although the Sous Chef liked the added flavor of the grill, he really enjoyed the oven roasted version because he felt that the chicken tasted a bit more like pomegranates.
Regardless of the cooking method, the subtle flavors of the pomegranate juice, bay leaves, and garlic really come together beautifully. In the past couple of weeks I have made this recipes a few times to perfect it and I can honestly say that I am not sick of it!
Juice pomegranates, then to it add the aromatics.
Place the chicken pieces in a bag along with the marinade and let it rest at least overnight.
Look at the gorgeous color of this chicken. Spray chicken with oil, then grill on low until cooked all the way through.
While the skin gets pretty dark and it looks like it’s totally burned, it’s actually crisp and delicious!
This was my store bought juice and oven roasted experiment. I roasted the chicken in about 1 cup of the marinade at 450° for half hour until the chicken was done. You can certainly see the difference in color when compared to the ones above.I removed the chicken from the juice. I popped the pieces under the broiler set on low for 3 minutes to crisp up their skin. Then, I reduced the pan juices and served it with the chicken.
- 10 chicken pieces, thighs and legs
- 2 cups fresh squeezed pomegranate juice
- 4-5 bay leaves
- 2 garlic cloves
- 10 peppercorns
- 1 tbsp salt
- cooking spray
- Juice pomegranate
- Cut garlic cloves into slices
- In a bowl mix together pomegranate juice, salt, garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Mix well until the salt is diluted
- Place chicken pieces in a plastic bag, then pour marinade over them. Close the bag and gently move the pieces around so that the marinade covers all the pieces and they all lay flat
- Let rest in the refrigerator overnight. Flip the bag at least once.
- Remove chicken pieces from the bag and place on a paper towel. Allow to come to room temperature.
- Spray the skin side of the chicken with cooking spray and place on the grill. Spray the opposite side, close the lid and grill on low for 10 minutes.
- Flip the chicken and continue to grill for another 15 minutes or so, or until the chicken is fully cooked and the internal temperature is 160 degrees.
So which method is your favorite?
Recipes from Pomegranate Week 2014
Zeytoon Parvardeh ~ Persian Pomegranate, Olive, & Walnut Dip
Recipes from Pomegranate Week 2010
POM Wonderful Dinner Party ~ Persian Ruby
How to Open & Seed a Pomegranate
Rice with Pistachios & Pomegranate Arils
Pomegranate & Lime Glazed Cornish Hens
Recipes from Pomegranate Week 2009
Persians’ Love Affair with Pomegranate
Khoresht Fesenjan ~ Persian Pomegranate & Walnut Stew