Pomegranate Molasses & Vanilla Chicken
I’m currently enamored with the combination of pomegranate molasses, Mediterranean spices and ground vanilla beans. Sweet, tart, salty, savory. With a fast turn of the wrist you can make a “same old” weeknight meal into an “oh yeah!” dinner. This recipe is liberally adapted from Sunset Magazine. They also used carrots but I think Maui or cippolini onion chunks, or sweet potatoes would be dynamite thrown into the pot with or without the carrots. I had asparagus roasting on the rack above the chicken and was pleasantly surprised by how well it blended, but I wish I’d also had some potatoes roasting too. In other words, adapt, adapt, adapt. I’m thinking pork chops or even pork tenderloin would soak in all this juicy goodness. What about you?
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses*
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- Approximately 1/2 teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground pepper, divided use
- 1-1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pound thin carrots cut in half or quarters
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk together pomegranate molasses, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, vanilla, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.
- Pat chicken thighs dry with paper towels and season all over with salt and pepper.
- Heat a dutch oven or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. When hot but not smoking, add chicken and cook, turning once until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
- Add carrots to dutch oven or skillet and cook 5 minutes, turning occasionally. Arrange chicken in a single layer on top of carrots and drizzle with molasses mixture.
- Place in oven and cook until chicken juices run clear and molasses mixture has reduced a bit, about 15 minutes. Baste once or twice while cooking. Top with parsley to serve.
- Many big markets now carry pomegranate molasses in the ethnic foods section. You can also buy it online. It's very adaptable and can be used in salad dressings, on meats, vegetables and grains.
- Feel free to substitute or add additional vegetables to this one pot meal. Sweet potatoes, regular potatoes and sweet onion chunks would be a delicious addition.