Walnut and Pomegranate Braised Chicken

Walnut and Pomegranate Braised Chicken

Stews are the heart and soul of cold weather cooking because, as the flavors slowly meld together, your house fills with the most amazing smells.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (about 10 ounces) California walnut halves
  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 3 cups unsweetened 100% pure pomegranate juice
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped toasted California walnuts, for garnish

For Serving:

  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
  • Roughly chopped parsley, for garnish*
  • Cooked rice or another grain, for serving*

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast until golden, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven until cool enough to handle then pulse in a food processor until ground into a fine meal.
  2. Meanwhile, use a paper towel to pull off any skin and any excess fat from the chicken thighs. Mix together the coriander, cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper and rub into the chicken thighs.
  3. Combine the pomegranate juice and brown sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let cook until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. When the juice is reduced, remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, begin cooking the chicken. Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add chicken to the pan, working in batches, so it’s in a single layer and not crowded. Cook chicken until it’s golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side, or until golden and seared. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  5. Remove and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the oil mixture from the pan. Add onions to the pan, reduce heat to medium, season with remaining 1 teaspoon of the salt, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the reduced pomegranate juice mixture, ground toasted walnuts, and chicken.  Cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent the walnuts from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Check to make sure the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through and knife tender.
  7. ​Remove from heat and adjust sugar and salt to taste. Serve over cooked grains and garnish with walnuts, pomegranate seeds, and parsley.

*Not included in nutrition information