Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Sauce
Keeping with more Sephardic recipes for my seder, the recipe that I found for our meat dish was with Moroccan spices and a Persian inspired sauce. I would make this any day of the week, it was delicious and so easy. As I have mentioned in past posts, I love pomegranates, and the sauce for the glaze is a pomegranate syrup which makes the chicken deliciously sweet and adds a great balance to the spices rubbed into the chicken.
I made a number of adjustments to this recipe, instead of buying the lovely little chickens that were recommended, I used the random chicken pieces that were in my freezer waiting to be cooked, ending up with three legs, two thighs and a leg and thigh that had not been cut up. Strangely formed chicken. It was a lot of chicken for two people, but it was so good that we ate at all.
The second adjustment that I made was by substituting pistachios for the walnuts, this kept with the Persian inspiration and added a little bit of color, it is also a nut that my husband can eat. They didn’t really add much to the flavor of the dish and most of them weren’t eaten, they had become a bit mushy in the syrup. The next time I make this, I may add crumbled pistachios when serving the dish, which would keep the color and give the benefits of the flavor, which they didn’t do when they were cooked with the sauce. I could also just skip the pistachios and sprinkle the chicken with pomegranate seeds before serving.
Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Sauce adapted from epicurious.com
- 1 cup bottled pomegranate juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 chicken cut into pieces
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads
- 3/4 cup pistachios
- 2 tablespoons or more vegetable oil, for frying
In small saucepan over moderately high heat, whisk together 1 cup water, pomegranate juice, and sugar. Bring to boil and cook, uncovered, until thick and syrupy, about 15 to 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Rinse chicken pieces and pat dry. In small bowl, whisk together salt, cumin, turmeric, pepper, and saffron. Sprinkle poussins with spice mixture; press to adhere.
Set large roasting pan on stove top, straddling two burners. Add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and heat over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Sear chicken until well browned, about 5 minutes per side. When the chicken is done pour the pomegranate syrup on top.
Roast 15 minutes. Baste poussins with pan juices and scatter walnuts around. Continue roasting, basting every 10 minutes until the chicken is falling off of the bone, 30 to 40 minutes.