Friday, April 20, 2007

Exotic Pomegranate Chicken – Hey, Nice Legs!

Pomegranate juice makes an excellent marinade for chicken. It’s sweet, tart flavor works really well, especially with the middle-eastern spices you’ll see me add in this demo. I marinated mine overnight for 12 hours, but a full 24 would be even better. The most common requests I get via email are new things to do with chicken and salmon. Everyone realizes that they should be eating more of these “healthier” proteins, but they get bored with the same old, same old. This is a great way to turn those boring BBQ chicken drumsticks into something exciting and delicious.

Almost every grocery store these days carries pomegranate juice. Due to its incredibly high content of anti-oxidants, millions of people are drinking this stuff on a regular basis, which of course is why it’s so expensive. But, here we only need one 16oz. bottle, so it shouldn’t be too hard on the budget.

The spice mixture I describe below its very versatile and I suggest making a big batch and keeping it for future “exotic” recipes I’ll be demonstrating. Also, the saffron rice dish you see these beautiful legs resting upon will be shown in a future video recipe demo. Another neat trick to notice is reducing the marinating liquid down to use as a sauce at the end of the dish. If I roasted the legs in the marinade, they still would have come out nice, but it would have been more of a braised dish, and the drumsticks would not have browned up like I wanted them. Enjoy!



Ingredients:
12 chicken drumsticks
16 oz. bottle of pomegranate juice
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic
NOTE: I added 2/3 of the spice mixture to the chicken when I marinated it, and then used the rest before roasting as you’ll see.

Exotic middle-eastern spice mix:
3 tbl cumin
3 tbl coriander
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbl black pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbl herb de Provence

13 comments:

Jonathan said...

Wow -- this meal is absolutely delicious. Complete success. Thank you.

Karen Kitchen said...

I recently made this for a school event. WOW!! I paired it with saffron rice and kids were gobbling up it! I would never have thought it would taste as wonderful as it did! I had other moms asking what I made and where could they get the recipe. Not only was my daughter very proud of me but I was proud of me too. I couldn't have done it without your help. Chef John you are truly awesome! I hope those moms took my advice and checked out your site. You're the best!

julianwang4 said...

After half a year, here's your 1/3 x 2 cup problem. 2/3 cups.

Chef John said...

actually i was kidding. I taught kitchen math at the cul. academy for 5 years...so it was an inside joke with some former student, but thanks.

Vig said...

Hi Chef -

I used this recipe as a jump off point. I ended up using tangerine pomegranate juice like you did - it's all I could find. Instead of your spice mix, I used a curry paste - and I used chicken leg quarters. It was really wonderful.

But every time I woke up at night, it was to the smell of curry! It was worse than the smell of soup or fried fish!

Thanks for everything,
Vig

The Bacon said...

Sorry if this is a double post

Chef John

I buy bone in, skin on chicken thighs from costco, so I have a crapload of them.

May I substitute?

Chef John said...

yes!

conishkee said...

Curry and fish can leave behind a very unpleasant pungent odor. What I do in this instance is to fill a pot or pan with plenty of water, sprinkle generously some cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and a bit of vanilla into it and let it come to a full boil. When it does, turn down the flame and let it simmer for a couple of hours without a top on, of course. Your home will smell like you just baked an apple pie! It's a fabulous aroma. And as Chef John always says, Enjoy!!

conishkee said...

Curry and fish can leave behind a very unpleasant pungent odor. What I do in this instance is to fill a pot or pan with plenty of water, sprinkle generously some cinnamon, nutmeg, all spice and a bit of vanilla into it and let it come to a full boil. When it does, turn down the flame and let it simmer for a couple of hours without a top on, of course. Your home will smell like you just baked an apple pie! It's a fabulous aroma. And as Chef John always says, Enjoy!!

1Bigg_ER said...

I've tried really hard to like cumin but I've failed. I leave it out of any recipe that calls for it.

Anonymous said...

I just finished making this, literally 20 minutes ago, and served it to my husband and he loves it! I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and it works just as great. I've actually made 4 of your chicken recipes over the last week and husband is loving them all! (I can't eat them as I'm on a diet for another 2 weeks but after that I'm making them again so I can finally try them!)

other woman said...

I have searched for a recipe for pomegranate chicken that tastes like the kind served at Le Med in San Francisco. This is pretty darn close!! My only problem was the chicken...it was tough. I cooked 16 drumsticks at 400 degrees for 40 minutes and the chicken was almost not edible. What did I do wrong?!?!

Chef John said...

Sounds like they were undercooked! Chicken legs get more tender the longer they cook. You have to cook until fork tender.