POMEGRANATE CHICKEN THIGHS: SHAH OF IRAN
Working on this pomegranate theme, I wanted to create an extra-special, super tasty main dish. My efforts paid off! This recipe for pomegranate chicken thighs was such a regal treat I've dedicated it to a couple of really classy royals, The Shah of Iran and his glamorous Shahbanu Farah Diba.
At the risk of going a little Marge Schott on this, one might say the Pahlavis were "good in the beginning but went too far." And how can you help but love those Imperial Crowns? Or dream of their banquet tables sparkling with Limoges and Baccarat in palatial chambers decorated by Maison Jansen? BTW Maison Jansen were the taste makers commissioned by Jacqueline Kennedy for her White House makeover. And since the Pahlavis were pals with the Nixons, could they really have been all that bad?
Partnered with Pomegranate Confetti Cous Cous, the reign of Chicken Thighs Shah of Iran was short-lived on the plate, being so tasty they were devoured in short order. But with proper decorum, don't get the wrong idea. Roasted butternut squash and cauliflower added a touch of the common man, befitting the monarch's abiding respect for his subjects.
I suppose peacock thighs would have been more authentic but alas, that was not to be.
Juice of 4 limes
a 2" piece of ginger, grated (see ginger grater below)
1/4 c. soy sauce
1/3 c. olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 T. white wine vinegar
2 T. honey
2 T. pomegranate molasses
1/4 c. pomegranate juice
a couple good grinds of black pepper
Marinate a dozen or so large chicken thighs — bone optional but with the skin on please – for four hours or more.
Grill the chicken over medium heat, until just done. Place on a baking tray, cover with foil, and keep in a warm oven until ready to serve.
To serve, brush each thigh, skin-side up, with more pomegranate molasses. Run under the broiler briefly.
Make a confetti of red, yellow and orange bell peppers and sliced scallions. Sweat over medium-low heat in a generous amount of butter for 20 minutes. Before making the cous cous, pre-treat the required amount of chicken broth with a chipotle pepper. Add the dried pepper to the broth, bring to a boil then remove from the heat and set aside for an hour or so to enrich the broth.
I like the larger beads of Israeli cous cous, they're just as easy as the more common smaller grains. Remove the pepper from the broth, bring to the boil. I used 4 cups of broth, 2 cups of cous cous. Stir in 1 cup of fresh pomegranate seeds when you add the cous cous to the boiling broth. When you're ready to serve, fluff up the cous cous, working in the confetti of peppers and scallion.