Pomegranate Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Almond Rice Pilaf Recipe

Pomegranate Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Almond Rice Pilaf Recipe
Staff Writer
Pomegranate Chicken with Preserved Lemon and Almond Rice Pilaf  Recipe

Lexi Van de Walle

With fresh pomegranate season almost over, I picked up a pomegranate and a bottle of pomegranate molasses at Dean & Deluca and made a Middle Eastern-inspired, exotic and easy chicken and rice dish — Pomegranate Chicken and Preserved Lemon and Almond Rice Pilaf.

Several simple ingredients — pomegranate molasses and seeds, preserved lemons, toasted almonds, cinnamon,cumin, pepper, clove, coriander, ginger, chicken and rice — brought together in a way that is unusual for the American palate and uses relatively basic cooking techniques. The outcome is a meal that is tantalizing to the tongue. In my husband's words, this dish is simply "luscious". 


For the chicken:

  • A whole chicken, cut into parts, skin removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced 
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • Dash of cloves powder
  • Dash of cumin
  • Dash of coriander
  • Dash of ginger
  • Dash of allspice
  • 1/3 cup of pomegranate molasses 
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • Pomegranate seeds (arils) from a whole pomegranate, for garnish 

For the rice:

  • 1 cup of basmati rice
  • 2 cups of chicken stock or water
  • 4 ounces of toasted almond slivers 
  • 1 tablespoon of diced preserved lemon 
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, minced 


For the chicken:

Wash and dry the chicken parts. Remove the skin from the chicken using a paring knife. Heat the olive oil over a medium flame in a large sauté pan. Add garlic and stir one minute until golden. Add the chicken and cook 5 minutes.

In the meantime, measure the spices in a small bowl and set aside. Mix the pomegranate molasses and chicken stock in a small container and set aside. Using tongs, turn the chicken over and cook another 5 minutes. Sprinkle the spice mixture on the chicken and pour the chicken stock and pomegranate molasses mixture into the pan. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the chicken is tender. Use the pomegranate seeds generously to garnish. 

For the rice: 
Boil the chicken stock in a small pot that has a tight fitting lid. Add the rice, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook according to directions, about 25 minutes. Stir in almonds, preserved lemon and parsley right before serving. 

Pomegranate Shopping Tip

Buying fruits in season when they are at the peak of their freshness make for great tasting food and can save you money.

Pomegranate Cooking Tip

Don’t throw out your overripe fruit – instead blend into a smoothie or salad dressing, add to muffin batter, bake into a cobbler, or boil down with sugar and a little lemon juice to make jam.