Chicken Braised with Pomegranate
BY PETER CHASTAIN, EXECUTIVE CHEF
1 Rosie or other organic chicken, back removed then cut eight ways
1 large white onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
5 whole cloves garlic, split in half, germ removed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 sticks cinnamon
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon fennel seeds
Finely ground white pepper
1-inch piece lemon peel
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves only
3 large pomegranates, seeds only
2 cups home made chicken broth, hot
1/4 cup Italian parsley, leaves only, finely chopped
Season chicken well with salt and pepper. In a large, high-sided sauté pan, brown the chicken thoroughly in the oil. Remove to a warm platter.
Add the vegetables and cook into a soffrito over moderate heat until golden. Add herbs and spices (except parsley) and cook a little further until very aromatic.
Return chicken to the pan. Add the hot broth and reduce heat to a low simmer.
Add pomegranate seeds, setting aside about 4 tablespoons for garnish. Cover and cook until tender, approximately 25 minutes. Remove chicken onto a hot serving platter
Grind the sauce through a food mill or pulse in a blender. Gently reduce until no longer watery, stir in parsley, and pour over chicken. Sprinkle remaining pomegranate seeds on top and serve hot.
This dish is delicious with hot polenta, cous-cous, or buttered lentils. If you prefer a vegetable on the side, try blanched chard tossed in fresh butter.