The Power of the Pomegranate

Pomegranate Tree The Late Fall season includes a jeweled fruit that you must meet, the pomegranate.  Soon,  this fruit will be out of season.  You can enjoy the juice, or the arils and this fruit as yet another super...

Pomegranate Tree
Pomegranate Tree

The Late Fall season includes a jeweled fruit that you must meet, the pomegranate.  Soon,  this fruit will be out of season.  You can enjoy the juice, or the arils and this fruit as yet another super food.  These jewels are also high in vitamin C and potassium, a great source of fiber, and low in calories.  I enjoy the arils on a Kale Salad finished with Apples and Pears and dressed with my Lemon Dijon creation.  These red rubies are great paired with oranges too.  The juice is strong, tart and very refreshing.

Opened Pomegranate
Opened Pomegranate

To open this “Jewel of Autumn” score the top of the Pomegranate with a cross, and within a large bowl of water, immerse the fruit and gently pry open the pomegranate. It should open easily, exposing the seeds (more accurately called). Continue to open the sections, all underwater to keep from staining you and your kitchen counter or tiles.

Gently, use your fingers to pry away the seeds from the peel and membranes. The seeds will sink to the bottom of the water while pieces of membrane will float to the top, making it easier to separate the membranes from the seeds. Once you are done stripping the pomegranate seeds from the skin and membranes, skim the membranes from the top of the water, and strain the seeds from the water. A good shake in a colander also helps to separate the membrane from the seeds.

Put the seeds into a serving bowl and munch away.

Eat immediately or store chilled in an airtight container for 3-4 days.

Once you have de-seeded your pomegranate, make sure the seeds are dry. Arrange them in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in freezer for 2 hours or until frozen. Once frozen, put them into a freezer bag or container and store them in the freezer. These jewels will be done from the produce section soon, so I encourage you to freeze some now. Again, the juice is very strong and the basis for Pomegranate Molasses , the key ingredient to this recipe. You can make this by reducing 2 cups of juice to ¼ cup of liquid, or purchase this golden treat in a high end specialty market or cooking store. Very flavorful! Chef Nancy Waldeck introduced me to this Molasses in one of her classes and it adds such flavor to cooking. This recipe is is one of my favorites with these flavors adding a special kick to chicken thighs over a bed of vegetables.

Pomegranate Roasted Chicken
Pomegranate Roasted Chicken

Pomegranate Roasted Chicken

– shared by Nancy  Waldeck – Author and Chef of Taste and Savor

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 6 - 7 chicken thighs
  • 7 cups chopped fennel (3 bulbs)
  • 3 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the lemon zest and salt together. Rub the thighs with the mixture.
  3. Heat the oil in a cast iron skillet. Sauté the thighs until golden.
  4. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  5. In the same pan, combine the fennel and onion, scrape up any brown bits and toss with the pan juices to coat.
  6. Place the chicken, skin side up, on the veggies.
  7. Whisk the pomegranate molasses, honey and pepper together in a small bowl. Transfer half the mixture to a small saucepan.
  8. Roast the chicken and veggies for about 30 minutes in the oven or until the thighs are almost done.
  9. Stir the veggies and reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Brush the thighs with pomegranate mixture, and continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into a thigh without touching bone reaches 165 F. (About 10 minutes)
  10. Heat the reserved pomegranate glaze in the saucepan over low heat. Drizzle the glaze over the chicken and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley. Serve in the cast iron skillet.

Serving Suggestion -- top these veggies and flavorful chicken over a side of Quinoa or Farrow to collect all of these pan juices and flavors.

Thank you Nancy for sharing this inspiration!