Grilled Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Pomegranate Glaze

There really isn’t anything exciting about chicken breasts, yes they are fat free and therefore good for you, but they don’t have any real flavor, not to mention the fact that they are expensive. I usually don’t buy them, and go for chicken pieces with the bones still attached, but was trying to mimic a dish that my husband and I love from a Mexican restaurant in the Mt. Pleasant area of Charleston. I could have easily mimicked it with thighs, because I doubt that they would use chicken breasts as liberally as they do here in Mexico. They must be expensive because they are easy and don’t make a lot of mess.


This dish has a pomegranate glaze and is served with fried onions and ground pepitas. The one thing that would make this dish outstanding would be more pomegranate, it would also contribute to the presentation, sprinkling a few seeds on top of the chicken for lovely color. I decided to go this route. My glaze was not as syrupy as I would have liked, but I think I just needed to be a bit more patient and let it reduce more in the pan. I did make my own pomegranate juice, which was a pretty thankless task, though I am enjoying all of the gorgeous red in the photographs. I suggest using the POM juice that you can find at any grocery store, it is 100% juice and doesn’t have the bitter flavor that the crushed seeds give off when you make your own.

I obviously concentrated the most on the pomegranate while photographing this dish, this wasn’t intentional, I only realized it when I was uploading the pictures onto my computer. Better though, raw chicken breasts are not terribly photogenic, nor are they appetizing.

Grilled Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Pomegranate Glaze

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 onion
  • 1 cup of pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1/2 pomegranate
  • 1/2 cup of green pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

You should salt your chicken breasts a few hours before cooking them, or in the morning before going to work, this will make them tastier and juicier, stick them back in the fridge between two plates and bring them out about 30 minutes before putting them on the grill to bring them to room temperature.

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.

Slice your onions into rings and heat olive oil in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. Add your onions and stirring occasionally allow them to brown and caramelize, this usually takes about 20 minutes.

The pepitas can be toasted in a small skillet for a few minutes over low heat, turning frequently, when they start to pop, they should be ready.

Grill your chicken breasts on a charcoal, gas grill or a grill pan. Of course the flavors will be more intense using the 1st 2, but the grill pan does a nice job. Grill each side for about 5 minutes until the center of the breast is no longer pink.

Plate the chicken and cover with the onions, pepitas, pomegranate seeds and the glaze. Serve immediately with sautéed greens or a salad.

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~ by italicious on November 23, 2009.

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