There are few things more satisfying than whacking out the seeds out of a nice, ripe pomegranate. One of those foods that is even more visually stunning than it is delicious, pomegranates were not around much when I was growing up until the launch of POM juice...remember that? All of a sudden people were obsessed with those funky bottles and we all became addicted to the drink that was like a cranberries sweeter, richer, thicker older distant relative.
The health benefits of pomegranates are many, but recipes that make it seem worth the work of cracking one open can be few and far between. So, behold, our favorite Pomegranate Roast Chicken! This recipe is technically my oldest son's but since he keep stealing all my socks, I'm swiping his chicken! Incredibly simple with less than a dozen ingredients, I'm always appreciative of how beautiful the table looks with this dinner on it.
- Whole chicken, around 3-4lbs, extra parts removed, cavity rinsed and dried thoroughly
- 3 tbsp grass fed butter, softened
- Generous salt and pepper
- 1 cup pomegranate juice with no added ingredients
- 2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 2-4 sprigs rosemary, depending on your taste level, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 425° while prepping the bird. Transfer butter to small ramekin. Using fingers, gently pry up the skin from around the breast near the cavity then work some of the butter onto the meat beneath the skin. Use the remaining butter to coat the top of the chicken, making sure to cover the drumsticks. Sprinkle liberally with salt, pepper and rosemary. Use a piece of kitchen twine to tie the legs together and fold the wings under the bird, tucking them in tight. Place the bird in a roasting pan or oven safe skillet, breast side up. Roast in the center of the oven for 30 minutes then lower the temp to 375°, make sure there are no dark spots, tilt the pan slightly get some juices out and continue roasting for another 15-20 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165°. Remove from the oven and allow to sit for a good 10 minutes.
While the chicken is in the last 20 minutes of cooking, combine the pomegranate juice and molasses in a small saucepan. Heat on the stove, over medium high heat, until it's simmering away (but NOT bubbling/boiling!) and whisk occasionally. Allow to cook until it's reduced to around 1/3 cup and has a nice, thick, syrupy consistency. This typically takes around 10 minutes. Remove from heat and spoon in some of the drippings from the chicken, about 1/4 cup. pour half the sauce over the chicken and reserve the rest for serving. Sprinkle the chicken with the pomegranate seeds and serve.