Ted suggested this as part of the main course for our Christmas Eve dinner this year. I wasn’t really sure how to go about it so I decided to brine the thighs, cook them in the oven and glaze them at the end before serving.
Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken Thighs
Prep time: 15 minutes
Rest time: 2-4 hours
Total active time: 1 1/2 hours
- 10 skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, trimmed of excess fat
- 1 cup 100% Pomegranate Juice
- 2 cups water
- 2 Tbsp. kosher salt
- 2 Tbsp. sugar
- 10 black peppercorns
- 3-4 juniper berries
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 cup pomegranate molasses (see notes)
- olive oil
- kosher salt and cracked black pepper for seasoning
- Combine the first four ingredients (through the sugar) in a saucepan. Heat over high heat until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Remove pan from the heat, add the peppercorns, juniper berries and bay leaf and cool the brine to room temperature (or lower).
- Place the trimmed chicken thighs in a large zip-top bag. Add the brine. Remove as much air as possible and seal. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or as long as 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- As the oven preheats layer paper towels on a clean surface. Remove the thighs from the brine, shaking off excess liquid in the bag. Place on the paper towels and pat dry, leaving thighs skin side down.
- Drizzle olive oil lightly over the thighs and rub to coat the top side. Sprinkle with kosher salt and cracked black pepper.
- Place thighs, skin side up, on a foil lined baking sheet. Oil the tops of the thighs and season with more salt and pepper. Seasoned thighs can sit on the counter until the oven preheats.
- Bake the chicken thighs for 30 minutes, rotating the baking sheet half way through. Check the temperature of the chicken thighs. If it has reached 150°F then continue with the next step. If not return it to the oven and continue baking until it reaches that temp.
- Increase the oven temp to 425°F. Brush thighs with pomegranate molasses and bake for 5. Brush on more molasses and bake an additional 5-10 minutes until internal temp is 165°F.
- Remove the chicken from the oven and allow it to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
We made the pomegranate molasses using Alton Brown’s recipe from the Good Eats episode Fruit 10 from Outer Space (Pomegranates). We have also found it, randomly, in the “ethnic” section of the supermarket.
While the flavor of the end product was good it wasn’t quite what Ted had in mind. Watching an episode of Jacques Pépin: More Fast Food My Way, we saw a technique for cooking the thighs on the cook top in a skillet that probably would have done the trick. Fear not, we’ll give it a try again some time soon.