I bought a bag of pomegranate seeds a while back and I’ve been using them here and there. To be honest, at first I didn’t think much of them. They were very crunchy and had kind of a sour taste to them, but they were also sweet. Well, they have kind of grown on me and I really like the crunchy taste of them now! Plus they are low in calories and high in fiber and phytonutrients and antioxidants that may offer both heart health and anti-cancer benefits!
So I’ve been looking for other dishes to make with pomegranate seeds since I usually just throw them in my morning oatmeal. And I found this one!
This handsome fall dish perfectly pairs tender roast chicken with sweet, crunchy pomegranate seeds and a honey and pomegranate sauce. It is served on top of caramelized fennel and onions that cook along with the chicken. Don’t be intimidated to try making this showstopper of a dish. Once you try, you’ll see how easy it is to roast a whole chicken. Just make sure to follow the instructions for pre-heating the oven, and then lowering the temperature when you’re ready to cook the chicken.
And if you’re like me and stuffing food into the cavity of a chicken kind of grosses you out, you can just use chicken breasts and cook them in the oven with the garlic cloves, lemon, and pomegranate seeds, on top of the vegetables (fennel and onions).
Total Time: 1 hr. 50 min.
Prep Time: 20 min.
Cooking Time: 90 min.
Yield: 8 servings
2 cups sliced fennel (1 to 2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and sliced)
2 medium onions, sliced
2 tsp. olive oil, divided use
1 (5 to 6 lb.) whole chicken, giblets removed, washed and dried
Sea salt (or Himalayan salt) and ground black pepper (to taste; optional), divided use
4 cloves garlic
1 fresh lemon, cut into quarters
1 cup pomegranate seeds (or 1 small pomegranate, seeds removed and reserved)
1 cup fresh pomegranate juice
1 Tbsp. raw honey
1 Tbsp. arrowroot flour
1. Preheat oven to 450° F.
2. Place fennel and onions in large oven-proof roasting pan. Drizzle with 1 tsp. oil. Set aside.
3. Sprinkle chicken cavity with salt and pepper, if desired. Fill cavity with garlic cloves, lemon, and pomegranate seeds. Tuck wings under and tie legs together with string, if desired.
4. Rub chicken with remaining 1 tsp. oil. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Place chicken, breast-side-up, over vegetables. Place in oven. Reduce oven temperature to 400° F. Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, or until thermometer inserted in the thigh (without touching the bone) reaches 165° F.
5. While chicken is baking, combine pomegranate juice, honey, and arrowroot in a small saucepan; cook, over medium heat, whisking frequently, for 5 to 8 minutes, or until sauce thickens. Set aside.
6. Remove skin from chicken before serving. Serve chicken over vegetables, topped with pomegranate sauce.