Pomegranate Chicken

According to mythology, it is due to pomegranates that we have the seasons and pomegranates in the US are exceptionally seasonal, usually from about Halloween through Christmas.

When you buy one, pick one with a firm skin like an apple, the heavier the better.  They range in colours from dark yellow to bright red, but unlike most fruits, the colour really means nothing to what you will find inside.  Inside the pomegranate are the edible seeds which have the consistency of a very firm kernel of corn.  For my recipe I will be using a juicer, but typically you won’t.  For general uses you would cut about an inch off of the top of the pomegranate and then cut through the skin only down the length of the pomegranate, cutting it into 6 to 8 pie slices and then remove the arils or seeds.  You would then place them into a bowl, fill it with water, and after about an hour the membranes to discard will surface and the seeds remain.

This recipe blends the tart citrus of the pomegranate, the earthy flavour of cinnamon and the bite of garlic into a curious taste that is so lively on the tongue.  The prep work involved with the pomegranates can take  bit of time, but most stores will sell the arils in a separate package (check the organic or herb section of the produce area of your store) and pomegranate juice (usually with the fruit juices) but I like the fun of getting my fingers dirty.  If you don’t have a juicer, use a sieve.


pomegranate chicken 27Ingredients

2 pomegranates

12 ounces boneless chicken breasts

1/2 cup pinot grigio

1 lemon

3 cloves garlic

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

1 teaspoon grated cinnamon

Directions

  • Cut pomegranates in half, horizontally.
  • Using a spoon or melon baller, scoop out seeds in very center to create a well.  Set aside in a medium bowl.
  • Place on a juicer, straining all pulp.  Remove any remaining whole seeds and place into bowl.
  • Chill pomegranate juice for about thirty minutes.
  • Cover bowl of seeds with water and set out in room temperature for thirty minutes.  Skim off membranes and lay seeds out on paper towel to dry.
  • Rub zest from one half of lemon and set aside.  Juice lemon and add pulp free juice to pomegranate juice.
  • In a small sauce pot over medium to high heat, combine pomegranate juice, wine and cinnamon.
  • Bring to roiling boil and remove from heat.  Cover.
  • Press garlic into a medium bowl.
  • Add oil and pepper and blend with a fork.
  • Coat chicken breasts thoroughly and bake at 300 degrees F for forty minutes.
  • Add pomegranate seeds to pomegranate gravy.
  • Stir and drizzle over chicken breasts.
  • Serve.

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