Pomegranates are everywhere these days. How about a Persian-inspired pomegranate chicken thigh recipe? Warning: you will want to make extra of this yummy chicken.

Mediterranean chicken thighs served with extra pomegranate seeds 

Growing up on the Mediterranean, pomegranates were a big thing. Although I don't remember much if/how my mom used them in cooking, I do recall my brother and I eating bowls of pom seeds sprinkled with sugar. The tangy and sweet snack was a favorite in our little household, and we ate lots of it!

Fast forward umpteen years later...

Early in my marriage, my husband and I lived in Grand Rapids, MI. We married young and did not have much disposable income. We didn't go out much, and when we did, it was to the $9.99 Chinese buffet nearby.

One lucky night, my hubby took me to this family-owned Persian restaurant called Shiraz. It was a fun surprise. The place offered delicious authentic Persian food; they even had live music and a belly dancer. Totally worth the splurge! That night, I ordered their Persian pomegranate chicken legs, and the taste has been engraved in my memory since.

I had purchased a couple of big pomegranates the other day because my mommy-in-law keeps telling me how good they are for me. And I totally believe her! Besides, I do love pomegranates, so why not? Lucky enough, I also had six humble chicken thighs begging to be cooked. My mind took me immediately to Shiraz and that amazing dish of pomegranate chicken I ate so many years ago.

Sliced Pomegranates to garnish chicken thighs

I recreated this chicken thighs (legs) recipe from memory, and my hubby could not believe how authentic and delicious my pom chicken turned out! They were fall-off-the-bone tender and truly packed with flavor.

Recipe tips...

To ensure flavor, I decided to make a rub of spices with fresh garlic, pomegranate molasses and a little vinegar. O yes, I did generously apply this rub all over the chicken and underneath the skin (so important). I let that sit for a good couple of hours; then I came back and browned the chicken thighs in my cast iron skillet (highly recommend that you have a skillet like this one). I also made a great pomegranate-wine sauce in which I baked the chicken. You'll be surprised how easy this recipe is, but it is truly impressive.

Pomegranate chicken thigh served on a plate garnished with extra pomegranate seeds

By the way, prep time is more like 25 minutes, the two additional hours are inactive. So no, you won't be toiling too hard 🙂 

Ready to make this pomegranate chicken thigh recipe?

Prepare the spice rub by combining the rub (ingredients below) in a small bowl.

Spice rub used for chicken thigh recipe Spice rub used for chicken thigh recipe in a bowl

Pat chicken thighs dry and begin to apply the spice rub generously. Be sure to lift skin carefully and apply some or the spice rub underneath; this is very important for flavor.

rubbing spice in chicken thighs

Slice one large onion. Place chicken in a large dish on a bed of red onions (use ½ amount of onions you sliced). Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Onions for chicken thigh recipe Seasoned chicken thighs added to a skillet
Take chicken out of the fridge and let sit in room temperature for 15-20 minutes.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. When ready, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large and heavy skillet. Turn heat to medium-high and brown chicken thighs on both sides, beginning with skin-side. Place browned chicken in a large roasting pan.

Seasoned chicken thighs fried in a skillet

To the same skillet, add a little more oil, if needed. Now, on medium-high heat, saute the remaining onion slices for 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned.

Onions sauteed for chicken thigh recipe

To the sauteed onions, add white wine and let simmer to reduce. Now add pomegranate molasses, bay leaf, seasoned salt, and chicken broth. Let the liquid simmer together for about 5-7 minutes to develop a nice pomegranate-wine sauce/broth.

Onions sauteed for chicken thigh recipe

Remove bay leaf and pour the pomegranate-wine sauce/broth over the chicken thighs in the roasting pan.

Pomegranate chicken thighs in baking pan Chicken thighs with sauteed onions in pan

Cover and bake in 450 degree F-heated oven for 20 minutes. Then, uncover and bake on the lowest oven rack for another 25-30 minutes or until fully cooked.

Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes before serving.

Serve with a garnish of dried mint leaves and fresh pomegranate seeds. And remember those amazing Greek potatoes I made the other day? They make a great side dish to this chicken. Or add a simple white rice or couscous.

Pomegranate chicken thighs served on a plate and garnished with extra pomegranate seeds

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon

Pomegranate Chicken Thigh Recipe


Description

Pomegranates are everywhere these days. How about a Persian-inspired pomegranate chicken thigh recipe? Warning: you will want to make extra of this yummy chicken.


Ingredients

Scale

Spice rub

  • 1 tbsp seasoning salt with no msg
  • 1 ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsp paprika (sweet or hot)
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses (or organic blackstrap molasses)
  • 1 tbsp white vinegar

Remaining Ingredients

  • 6 chicken thighs
  • 1 large red onion, sliced, divided
  • Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 2 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 bay leaf
  • seasoned salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp dried mint leaves, crushed
  • 1 large pomegranate, seeds of

Instructions

  1. Prepare the spice rub by combining the rub ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Pat chicken thighs dry and begin to apply the spice rub generously. Be sure to lift skin carefully and apply some or the spice rub underneath; this is very important for flavor.
  3. Place chicken in a large dish on a bed of red onions (use ½ the amount of onions you sliced earlier). Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  4. Take chicken out of the fridge and let sit in room temperature for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  6. When ready, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large and heavy skillet. Turn heat to medium-high and brown chicken thighs on both sides, beginning with skin-side. Place browned chicken in a large roasting pan.
  7. To the same skillet, add a little more oil, if needed. Now, on medium-high heat, saute the remaining onion slices for 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned.
  8. To the sauteed onions, add white wine and let simmer to reduce. Now add pomegranate molasses, bay leaf, seasoned salt, and chicken broth. Let the liquid simmer together for about 5-7 minutes to develop a nice pomegranate-wine sauce/broth.
  9. Remove bay leaf and pour the pomegranate-wine sauce/broth over the chicken thighs in the roasting pan.
  10. Cover and bake in 450 degree F-heated oven for 20 minutes. Then, uncover and bake on the lowest oven rack for another 25-30 minutes or until fully cooked.
  11. Remove from oven and let sit for five minutes.
  12. Serve with a garnish of dried mint leaves and fresh pomegranate seeds.
  13. Try these Greek potatoes as a side dish.

Notes

  • Recommended for this Recipe: Our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil (from organically grown and processed Koroneiki olives!)
  • Visit our store to browse our spices, olive oils and bundles!
  • Prep Time: 2 hours 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Category: Entree
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean/Persian

Keywords: Pomegranate Chicken Thighs, chicken thighs, pomegranate chicken, Mediterranean chicken,

Try these delicious recipes:

Mediterranean Pomegranate Tomato Salad Recipe

Best Moroccan Chicken

Chicken Arugula Salad with Ginger Pomegranate Dressing

Easy Persian-Style Barbecue Chicken Thighs

 

Share it with the world

I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
Learn More

Get our best recipes and all Things Mediterranean delivered to your inbox.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Comments

  1. I have been a loyal follower of your incredible and inspiring recipes. I have to say, this is hands down my favorite recipe I have followed with some modifications. The Umami comes from the beautiful combination of unique spices, the wine and pomegranate molasses. I use the molasses all the time but would have never considered such a unique blend. I also added date molasses, substituted lemon for the vinegar, sweet onions instead of red, and used boneless/skinless thighs (just because I prefer it without the skin).

  2. I am a middle eastern life long cook myself . This chicken taste good enuf but the amount of liquid would make a chick drown and come out like boiled chicken .
    Also the pink onions turned the chicken an unappealing color of brown . Or perhaps browning the skin first was the problem . I have never browned skin of a chicken before . It was an added step and an extra dirty pan and I do not think it added . I think a chicken should look blond when presented and crisp . This was crisp .
    The pomegranates compensated for the presentation becasue everything was so brown . The onions would have been better sautéed for a short time alone . and the mint should have been fresh . those two ingredients tossed with pomegranate would have improved the presentation .

  3. Making it now... What do you do with the bed of onions under the chicken? Do you brown them with the chicken?

    1. Hi Karen, there are a few brands that offer no MSG products, here is one option that would work-->http://amzn.to/2gFU7Vw

  4. Suzy! I was looking for a pomegranate chicken recipe and ended up here. Just about to cook it. I'll let you know how it turns out! Hope you're well, lovely lady. 🙂

    1. Hey Kari!!! So glad to see you here, friend! I am sorry it took me a while to respond...my family just moved, and I'm drowning in boxes right now! Hope things are well with you. Thanks for giving my chicken recipe a go!

  5. I can imagine how good this Persian inspired chicken must have tasted. It looks seriously delicious and I bet your kitchen smelt amazing when this was baking too!

  6. Wow! This looks amazing, love those flavours! Also the colours are beautiful with the pomegranate scattered over! 😀

    1. I've made the molasses before by juicing pomegranates and reducing the juice to a syrup, over low flame with consistent stirring. As an alternative, start with a commercially available bottle of pomegranate juice. But the freshly juiced is way better, imo.

  7. Agnes; I recommend trying chicken breast, bone in, skin on. Ppl can remove the skin after it cooks. You may have to adjust time in the oven to ensure a moist chicken breast.

  8. Oh my! This looks so so so good. Almost like a dish you would see in one of the Ottolenghi books.
    It is so hard (almost impossible) to find pomegranate on the island, but one day when I have access to it, I am definitely going to give this recipe a try.
    Gorgeous photos, as usual.
    Cheers!

    1. Aysegul, you are too kind my friend. What an honor to have my recipe compared to something from the gorgeous Ottolenghi books! This is a new family favorite. I hope you get to try it in the future. Hugs.