This Pomegranate Chicken is sweet, sticky, tangy and loaded with so much flavour. Plus, it couldn’t be easier to make!
Although it might seem like an odd concoction, I promise it totally works. If you love pomegranate and love chicken there’s no way you won’t love this combo. No fancy ingredients and it’s incredibly simple to make. Follow me…
I love using chicken thigh for this recipe, but in reality chicken breast would work too. Thigh just tends to be a little more tender/juicy. In both cases you’ll want them boneless and skinless, just so you can easily dice into chunks.
Coating in Flour
One of the key steps in prepping the chicken is coating it in seasoned flour. This not only helps build up a crunchy crust to the chicken, but it also helps the sauce wrap around the chicken. Have you ever made a gorgeous sauce for chicken and it just slides right off? Yep, we’ve all been there. You want the sauce to wrap around the chicken, and the flour will help with this by sucking in and clinging on to the sauce.
Process shots: add flour and seasoning to a bowl (photo 1), stir to combine (photo 2), add chicken (photo 3), mix to combine (photo 4), add to pan with butter and oil (photo 5), fry until golden all over (photo 6).
Pomegranate Sauce for Chicken
When it comes to the sauce, like I mentioned earlier, you don’t need any fancy ingredients. In fact you don’t even need pomegranate molasses, which a lot of similar recipes use. Mainly because I can never find it at my local supermarket, but IMO you really don’t need it anyway. The bulk of the sauce comes from Pomegranate Juice.
What kind of Pomegranate Juice to use?
You want to use a 100% Pomegranate juice. Don’t use a reduced sugar version, it’ll completely alter the flavour of the sauce. Do try and get a quality brand too. I personally use Pom Wonderful 100 pomegranate juice which works nicely.
Alongside the pomegranate juice the next most prominent ingredient is honey. This is necessary to balance out the tart, sour tones of the pomegranate. It also helps the sauce go silky too!
I know this might sound like a peculiar addition, but it’s a really important one. The tomato paste helps deepen the flavour of the sauce. The sauce is a little one tone with just pomegranate juice, honey and a few other additions. The tomato paste helps add a savoury note to the sauce, without being too overpowering.
Thickening the sauce
You want the sauce nice and glossy. Slightly thick, just enough to drizzle over the chicken. The honey and even the tomato paste will help thicken the sauce, but you really need to add a cornstarch slurry to help along the way. This is simply a combination of cornstarch/cornflour and cold water, which when whisked into the hot sauce will help thicken it.
Process shots: remove chicken and melt in butter (photo 1), fry shallot, garlic & ginger (photo 2), fry tomato paste (photo 3), pour in balsamic vinegar, pomegranate juice, honey and cornstarch slurry (photo 4), add in chicken (photo 5), mix in pomegranate seeds (photo 6).
Serving Pomegranate Chicken
You’ll mix pomegranate seeds (aka pomegranate arils) into the sauce, but it’s also nice to sprinkle a few over the top too. I also love sprinkling over fresh parsley. Not only for a pop of colour, but it really brings the flavour of the dish together. I actually tend to serve this with couscous, but rice would work just as well.
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Alrighty, let’s tuck into the full recipe for this pomegranate chicken shall we?
How to make Pomegranate Chicken (Full Recipe & Video)
- Large Frying Pan & Wooden Spoon
- Medium Sized Mixing Bowl & Tongs
- Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Ingredients (check list):
- 1lb / 500g Boneless Skinless Chicken Thigh, diced into large bite sized pieces (see notes)
- 1/3 cup / 50g Plain Flour
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp EACH: Paprika, Cinnamon, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp EACH: Butter, Olive Oil
- 1 cup / 240ml Pomegranate Juice (see notes)
- 1/3 cup / 90g Honey
- 1/3 cup Pomegranate Seeds (Arils)
- 1 tbsp Tomato Paste (Tomato Puree in UK)
- 2 tsp Balsamic Vinegar
- 2 tsp Cornstarch/Cornflour
- 1/2 tsp finely diced Ginger
- 1 large Shallot, very finely diced
- 1 clove of Garlic, finely diced
- Fresh Parsley, to serve
- Prep Chicken: In a medium sized mixing bowl combine flour, paprika, cinnamon, garlic powder, salt and black pepper. Add in diced chicken and mix to fully coat.
- Cook Chicken: Add 1 tbsp butter and olive oil to a large pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted, stir it to combine with the oil then add in and space out the chicken. Leave to fry until crispy and deep golden on one side, then flip the pieces and cook the other side until crisp/lightly charred, with the centre piping hot. Remove from pan and turn heat down to medium.
- Sauce: Melt in 1/2 tbsp butter then add in shallots, garlic and ginger. Fry until soft and just beginning to brown, then stir in tomato paste and fry for another 1-2mins. Pour in pomegranate juice, balsamic vinegar and honey. Stir to combine and bring to a gentle simmer.
- Thicken: In a small pot to one side combine 2 tsp cornstarch with 2 tsp cold water. Pour into the sauce and immediately whisk to combine. Keep on a gentle simmer for 5 or so mins, stirring somewhat frequently until the sauce begins to thicken. Check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
- Serve: Stir in chicken and pomegranate seeds, then stir to fully coat. Serve with finely diced fresh parsley and enjoy!
Quick 1 min demo!
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