WE LOVE POMEGRANATES! The “seeds” or arils are so addictive to eat on their own or add a pop of flavor in salads. Pom molasses isn’t really molasses, but just a tar-like paste that is tangy and can easily lacquer your most basic ingredients and really up your game in the kitchen. It’s the best-kept secret ingredient. I’ve used it on everything from duck legs to salmon to cocktails and here, we glazed chicken thighs. It complements so well because of the sweet-tart balance — add a sprinkle of salt and your taste buds will be extra happy. Pomegranate molasses needs to be your new favorite pantry staple. Trust us on this.
As long as we are slathering everything with pomegranate molasses, we will acknowledge that pomegranates are one of the prettiest fruits out there and use those arils, too. They’re really the star of our grain salad, adding a sweet burst and little crunch with every bite. Since Diana and I both live alone, different grains are great to keep around because you can make whatever you’re feeling at the moment in whatever quantity makes sense for you! I like to make one grain on a Sunday or Monday and use over the course of a week: just toss a little bit into a lettuce salad to make it more filling or add fresh ingredients to the grain as a whole other meal. Diana always has pre-cooked, amazingly convenient (and gluten-free!) goodies in her freezer like brown rice and quinoa from Trader Joe’s. I’m much less decisive about what I want to be eating long-term so I keep big glass canisters of dry stuff in my pantry and make it as I go. Whatever your situation, know that this salad is beautiful, satisfying and super easy!
ab + DZ
- 8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- ¼ cup pomegranate molasses
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or another neutral oil
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup bulgur or quinoa
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1 shallot, peeled and minced
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced, divided
- ½ cup pomegranate arils
- Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- In a large bowl, toss chicken thighs with pomegranate molasses and marinate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.
- Cook bulgur or quinoa according to package directions and season with salt. Set aside to cool. If using leftovers or a mix of grains, you’ll need about 2 ½ to 3 cups total. Fold in lemon zest, juice, shallot, olive oil, half the scallions and pomegranate arils. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add oil to a cold cast iron pan and arrange chicken thighs skin-side down. Place pan over medium heat. Allow chicken thighs to begin to render fat and start to cook. This will allow the skin to crisp. Do not try to move the chicken until the skin has shrunk and chicken is about half-way done, about 10-12 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and add red onion. Add a little water, if necessary, to help scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Return chicken to the pan, skin-side up, and place in oven for another 10-15 minutes, until chicken is fully cooked. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Serve onions and chicken over bulgur or quinoa salad. Spoon any pan juices over chicken before serving. Garnish with remaining scallions.
- We used bulgur when we tested this, but it works just as well with any of your favorite grains like farro or if you're going gluten-free, try it with a mix of red and white quinoa or some brown rice. Any neutral grain that doesn't get mushy will be great with these bright flavors!
- AND, this chicken works REALLY great on the grill, too. Same rules apply: don't move the chicken until the fat has renders and the skin shrinks. Moving it around will just make it stick more!