I know the title is mighty long and a simple Anardana Chicken would have cut it, but where’s the fancy shmancy in that?! I’ve never really found a recipe with pomegranate that caught my attention till today. Always ate Pomegranate by itself or sprinkled over a salad. I know using pomegranate and chicken together might jolt some of you, but trust me and carry on reading. This recipe from the Good Food magazine, seemed too simple. It made me doubt whether that was all there was to it. I love pomegranates and have always
known heard that we use dried pomegranate powder (Anardana) in Indian cooking. However, the spice mix in this recipe seemed very Middle Eastern and I had a niggling feeling that this maybe Moroccon! I read the ingredients thrice over before finally deciding to go for it! (After all, as the magazine says – Every recipe is thrice tested, so how badly could I screw up?). So how did it finally turn out? It was Fantastic – moist, juicy, peppery and tangy. Excellent bang for the buck. It’s something that you can whip up in a jiffy and just by throwing in some pomegranate jewels it looks so desirable. I call them jewels because they remind me of rubies or garnets and I can’t hide my love for color and bling. It’s also really good for the heart – the pomegranate that is, not the fat dripping chicken! Besides its kinda cool when you mix fruit and meat don’t you think? A most unlikely hit pair!
Pomegranate and Pepper Roast Chicken Drumsticks
(Recipe Courtesy: BBC Good Food India, Nov 2011)
Marinating time: 4 hrs or overnight
Cooking time: 35 mins
Serves: 6 as starter, 2 as mains
What you need:
6 Chicken drumsticks, skin removed
1 Tbsp dried Pomegranate powder (Anardana)
1 tsp Black Peppercorns, coarsely ground
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Tbsp Butter
2 Tbsp Honey
Salt to taste
Pomegranate seeds to garnish
What to do:
Mix the oil, melted butter and honey in a large bowl till well blended. Add the dry spices and salt till evenly mixed. Wash and dry the chicken drumsticks and into the marinade. Make 2 to 3 diagonal slits in the meat. Rub the marinade into chicken and coat all the six pieces. Cover the bowl with cling film and refrigerate, allowing the chicken to marinate for atleast 4 hours. (Ideally overnight).
When the chicken is marinated, preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the legs on a roasting pan and roast until the surface is golden and the meat is done. (about 30 mins ). Baste the chicken with the run off marinade in the pan occasionally.
Test for doneness by piercing the chicken at its thickest part, towards the bone. The juices should run clear. Serve with a sprinkle of fresh pomegranate seeds on each drumstick.
I would serve this as a starter but if you want to make a main out of it – Cous cous with a splash of orange juice and chopped parsley and pomogrante seeds folded into it would look gorgeous!
Note: The original recipe said 3 Tbsp of Honey, Oil and Butter each but I felt that was way too much. 2 Tbsp of each worked just perfect. Also I used a roasting tin with a groove around the edges that let the extra fat and oil collect. Perfect for basting without letting the meat wallow in too much liquid while roasting.
P.S. You get Anardana Powder (Dried Pomegranate Powder) in any Indian Grocery store. Make sure you store it in an airtight packet after opening it.