Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze and Curried Couscous

  • Yield 6 servings

Ingredients

1/2 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup honey
2 quarts water
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 Lemon, sliced
6 large chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
1/8 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/8 cup dried cherries, chopped (cranberries can be substituted)
2 tablespoons grand marnier
1 cup couscous
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/8 cup shallots, diced
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon curry powder
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Instructions

  1. Combine water, salt, honey, garlic, pepper and lemon in a 1 gallon zip lock bag. Seal and squish it around to mix all ingredients. Open it up and add the chicken. Place in refrigerator and allow to brine for 2 to 4 hours.
  2. Combine apricots, cherries and grand marnier in a small saucepan and warm over medium heat. Once it starts to steam just a bit, reduce heat to low and allow to steep until most of the liquid is absorbed (total cooking time is about 5 minutes) set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, toss the couscous with 1 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil. In a small saucepan, heat the chicken stock just to boiling. Immediately pour stock over the couscous. Toss with a fork so liquid is evenly distributed and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Set aside.
  4. In a saute pan, warm 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil over medium high heat. Add the shallots and cook just until they are transparent. Don’t let them take on any color.
  5. To the couscous, add shallots, fruit mixture, honey, curry powder, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Recover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside.
  6. Glaze: Combine the pomegranate molasses, honey, brown sugar, orange juice concentrate and salt in a small sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Let simmer for 2 to 3 minutes and remove from heat. Remove chicken from brine.
  7. Gently pull the skin away from one edge of the chicken thighs. Stick your fingers in between the skin and meat to separate them just enough to form a pocket. Don’t get carried away here, you want the skin to remain as intact as possible around the edges. Into the pocket you’ve created, spoon in about 3 to 4 tablespoons of the couscous mixture.  The size of chicken thighs varies, so the bigger the thigh, the more you can stuff in there. There should be a layer of couscous about 3/4 inch thick underneath the skin. Baste each thigh with pomegranate glaze and place them skin side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake in a preheated 350F oven. Baste occasionally with remaining glaze. Thighs are done after about 30 minutes or until they reach an internal temperature of 165F and any juices run clear. (Watch the chicken carefully as you bake it because brined poultry will actually cook faster than unbrined.)
  8. Garnish with a sprinkle of toasted walnuts.

 

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