OMG you have to make this chicken. It’s absolutely fabulous. What flavors! What colors! Can you tell I’m enthusiastic about this dish? Today marks #2 in a three week series celebrating the release of Meagan Micozzi’s, (aka blogger Scarletta Bakes) cookbook The New Southwest. Last week I made Mushroom and Leek Migas, which set the stage for a really exciting series. When it came time to choose my second recipe, this chicken caught my eye right away. I know how powerfully delicious pomegranate juice is when it’s reduced down to a glaze or a syrup, my Mini Lamb Koftas with Pomegranate Wine Sauce taught me that much. But I wasn’t prepared for the explosion of flavor in this chicken . Be sure to save it, it’s a winner.
The pomegranate flavor gets infused into this chicken in two ways. First the thighs marinate for a couple of hours in a shocking pink mix of yogurt and pomegranate juice. More pomegranate juice cooks down into an incredibly tangy rich glaze. Pomegranate seeds garnish the finished chicken as a visual cue to what’s in the dish. You can actually buy ready packed pomegranate seeds at stores these days, but I prefer to do it the old fashioned way, from the whole fruit.
The easiest way to do that is to cut open a pomegranate, pry it apart into quarters, and then fill a bowl or sink with water and pull the sections open underwater. The seeds sink to the bottom and the pith floats to the top. No mess.
I’m always impressed with a recipe that is easy to put together, and also gives me vivid, new flavors. From the flamboyant pink marinade, to the smokey grill marks on the thighs, to the blood red glaze punctuated by tart green lime, this chicken is a sensual feast.
My only frustration was that we didn’t have leftovers
I made a couple of minor changes to the recipe. I reduced the amount of pomegranate juice so that the dish could be made with one 16 oz bottle of Pom. Pomegranate juice is very expensive, and my adjustment didn’t seem to make a difference in flavor. And, since I don’t have a grill, I adjusted the recipe to char the meat on a stove top grill pan, and then finish cooking the chicken in the oven. It worked perfectly, the bone-in thighs stay moist and juicy and you don’t have to stand over the meat as it cooks.
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (I used 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
- pomegranate seeds for garnish (optional)
- 2 cups pomegranate juice (I used 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (I used the juice of 2 limes)
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- Set the oven to 400F
- To marinate the chicken, put the yogurt, pomegranate juice, salt, garlic and chicken in a large zip lock baggie. Massage everything until well combined. Put in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight. I turned the bag over once or twice.
- To make the glaze, put all the glaze ingredients in a saucepan and whisk to combine. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and boil for about 20-25 minutes until reduced and thickened. Set aside.
- Preheat a grill pan over medium high heat until screaming hot. Take the chicken out of the marinade, and let the excess liquid drip off before setting the chicken, skin side down, on the grill. Don't move it for a minute or so until it gets nice dark grill marks.
- Flip the chicken over, and then transfer to a baking pan that has been lightly brushed with olive oil. Bake the chicken for about 30-40 minutes, or until done through. Spoon a generous amount of glaze over the chicken, and garnish with the pomegranate seeds and lime wedges. Serve right away.
Recipe slightly adapted from The New Southwest