Braised Cranberry & Pomegranate Chicken

Braised Pomegranate Chicken

Braised Cranberry & Pomegranate Chicken

I read a lot of food blogs and I’ve bookmarked about 100, not including the number of recipes that I’ve categorised according to protein, soups, dessert type (Asian, brownies, tarts/pies, pudding, cakes, cupcakes, others), pasta and snacks (sweet/savoury). It’s quite a collection, even if I do tend to google recipes anyway, just in case I want to look at variations or torment myself further so I will be motivated to make it; more often the former than the latter. I think.

So when I was making my ‘blog rounds’, I came across this recipe which sounded interesting because pomegranate… well, it’s a bit of a difficult fruit, isn’t it? It’s such a beautiful, deceiving shade of red, but the arils (seeds) can be a bit sour and dry on the tongue. Although the original recipe utilised pomegranate molasses and not the fresh fruit itself, I decided to make a sweet gravy from bottled 100% juice to counteract the sourness of the arils. This is also due to the fact that my family needs gravy during dinner. When I say ‘needs’, I mean we eat pasta that is positively drowning in sauce. True story.

Pomegranate, half an onion and a naked orange that was not used in this recipe

Pomegranate, half an onion and a naked orange that was not harmed or used in this recipe (so please ignore it).

You don’t need to add the fresh fruit itself; to me, it was more out of curiosity and health benefits, even if I did cook it down. I chose bottled cranberry & pomegranate juice because pure pomegranate juice is simply too pricey, but you can choose any other variants that include pomegranate, cranberry and/or even apple. Also, I changed the method of cooking a little as my Asian roots are well embedded, and my mother was standing guard at the stove – both factors are unequal in strength, so you may be able to guess which influenced the decision to fry the chicken, onions and garlic for longer. I actually cooked a grand total of 21 drumsticks, but I’m aware that not everyone is as carnivorous as my family, so this recipe will feed about 4 to 5 people.

So what does this taste like? The chicken drumsticks will be soft and tender, with a sweet-sour-salty gravy to match, topped with fried cashews. For those with slow cookers, I’m sure you can adapt this recipe as well. This dish is beautiful with steamed rice, cous cous or mashed potatoes, and makes for a comforting dinner that you can really enjoy on colder nights.

Ruby red pomegranate which made a royal mess on my benchtop

Ruby red pomegranate which made a royal mess on my kitchen bench

Braised Cranberry & Pomegranate Chicken
Adapted from Anne’s Food

10 to 12 chicken drumsticks, washed and trimmed of fat
2 Spanish onions, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
300 ml of cranberry + pomegranate juice (or any other mix of apple, cranberry and/or pomegranate)
3 tbsp brown sugar
juice and zest of 1 lemon
250 ml of chicken or vegetable stock
arils of 1 pomegranate
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste
to serve: 3 tbsp cashews, shallow fried in 1 tbsp oil

In a saucepan, boil the fruit juice, 1.5 tbsp of sugar and lemon juice until reduced to half.
Heat olive oil and butter in a pot or wok. Add onions and fry until soft.
Next, add garlic and fry until golden.
Then add in chicken drumsticks and fry for about 5 minutes.
Pour in the reduced juice, stock, lemon zest, pomegranate arils and remaining 1.5 tbsp of brown sugar.
Stir and let it simmer over medium heat for 20 minutes or until cooked through.
Season with salt and pepper (to taste). You may wish to add in more sugar as well.
Top with fried cashews, and serve immediately.

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About saphster

Twenty-two year old who loves coffee and chocolate too much for my own good. I bake in my free time and read food blogs until late in the night (avoid this; it causes hunger pangs!). If I had a bucket list, it'd consist of places that I'd like to dine at. I would love to learn about authentic French cuisine and I wish I could master making macarons - they're too darn intimidating. I whine about how unhealthy some foods can be, but I pack away dessert like I've been starving myself. This isn't much of a secret, but I adore McDonald's breakfast and French fries. I know I shouldn't! Oh, and I believe no one should eat mediocre food that they don't enjoy because it's not worth the calories.
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