A pomegranate cart in Istanbul…one of my favorite sights ever.
Based on my lack of recent posts, it is obvious that my kitchen and I have been in a bit of a noncollaborative mood as of late. But as we all know, nothing changes unless you take charge and make it change. So, I’ve dug deeply searching for inspiration, innovation, and imagination. I hope I’ve once again found it. Stay tuned…here’s to taking a pause in the kitchen as in travels; let’s just call it a layover! But here’s as link to my favorite pomegranate chicken recipe, inspired by my first trip to Istanbul a few years ago!
Our puffy travel faces with the gorgeous Blue Mosque as the main feature.
This very day last year, the don and I (and a couple of very special friends!) were on a three day layover in Istanbul on our way home from a fabulous trip to Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.
Our fantastic friend and guide Riza, bidding farewell.
And Peg departing from the fabulous Four Seasons Sultanahmet (Old City…think Constantinople!)
The only thing as good as a pomegranate is the friend that knows that you adore them! Remember that I LOVE pomegranates…well, my friend Bonny remembered it too. So for my birthday back in February, she treated me to a huge bag of chocolate covered pomegranate jellied, chewy, yummy candies. Since then I’ve spotted them at Sam’s Club, and of all places…the Miami airport this past Saturday! Small bites, incredible flavor. Go get yourself some of this goodness. (And make that pomegranate chicken people!) Cheers!
Old Town Istanbul, October, 2013
Admittedly, I am more than slightly obsessed with pomegranates. My family will attest that I verged on the side of obnoxious while in Istanbul this past October. But in my defense…there WERE fresh pomegranate carts all over the old towne (Constantinople!) I just wanted to bite right into one, almost did as a matter of fact! Proof you ask; well here ’tis! So this recipe in the new issue of Cooking Light jumped off the page at me. Tweaked it last night to suit our taste buds and haven’t been that delighted with a new entree in a long time! So, spreading the love is what I’m doing. Pomegranate season lasts another 6 or so weeks; so race on down to your local grocer and whip this up. At a mere 458 calories per serving, who can turn this down?! Licking my lips again!
3 cups low fat, low sodium chicken broth, divided
1 cup uncooked long cooking rice
1 medium onion, cut into chunks
1 Tbs chopped fresh thyme
3/4 t salt, divided
1 1/4 t cracked pepper, divided
1 1/4 cup pomegranate juice, divided
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
1 Tbs olive oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
Preheat oven to 400°.
Combine 2 cups chicken stock, rice, onion, and thyme in medium saucepan.
Bring to boil.
Cover and simmer 15 minutes, until liquid is absorbed.
Remove from heat.
Stir in half of the salt and pepper.
Combine remaining 1 cup chicken broth and 1 cup pomegranate juice in small saucepan.
Bring to boil.
Reduce and simmer 16 to 18 minutes, until reduced to 1/2 cup.
Remove from heat and stir in arils.
Add olive oil and remaining 1/2 cup pomegranate juice to skillet.
Turn heat to medium high.
Salt and pepper chicken.
Add to skillet.
Cook 4 minutes til browned on one side.
Turn chicken over.
Place in oven.
Bake 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to rest 4 minutes.
Slice each breast on diagonal into 4 or 5 strips.
Spoon a bit of rice onion mixture onto plate.
Place sliced chicken half on and half off rice.
Pour pomegranate mixture over chicken and rice.
Serves 4 to 6.