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Saffron and Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken

Saffron and Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken 4.000

Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky for The Washington Post

Mar 12, 2019

When combined, pomegranate molasses, honey, saffron and tangerine produce an aromatic and flavorful glaze.

You can swap in half a teaspoon of ground turmeric in place of saffron, which will maintain the rich golden hue saffron provides. Serve the chicken alongside Jeweled Rice (see related recipe).

Make Ahead: Season the chicken and refrigerate it the night before you plan to roast it.

4 - 6

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4-6 servings

  • One (5-pound) whole chicken or bone-in turkey breast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon loosely packed saffron threads
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 2 tablespoons mild honey
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely grated
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 tangerine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Olive or grapeseed oil, to coat the pan

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Thoroughly pat the chicken or turkey breast dry with paper towels. Stir together the salt and pepper in a small bowl, then rub the seasoning all over the chicken, and inside the cavity. Refrigerate, uncovered, for at least 4 hours, and up to 24 hours. This will allow the seasoning to penetrate the meat and yield a flavorful bird, as well as make it possible for the glaze to stay put on the skin. Before cooking, let the bird sit at room temperature for 1 hour, to ensure even cooking.

When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat a small, dry skillet over medium heat. Toast the saffron, shaking the pan a few times, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, transfer the saffron to a small bowl, and let cool. Using a mortar and pestle (or the bottom of a soup spoon), grind the saffron into coarse powder.

Combine the pomegranate molasses, honey, garlic, tangerine zest and juice, cumin and the saffron powder in a small bowl. Using your hands, or a pastry brush, apply the mixture all over the chicken, as well as inside the cavity. You will have extra glaze left over; reserve.

Brush a thin slick of oil on the bottom of a heavy large skillet (preferably cast iron), add the chicken and transfer to the oven. About 30 minutes into roasting, brush some of the extra glaze all over the bird, and repeat every 10 minutes. (It will also give you a good opportunity to make sure the glaze isn’t burning too much. The pomegranate-honey mixture can go from beautifully burnished to burned very quickly.)

Roast for 50 to 70 minutes; an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (away from the bone) should register 165 degrees. The bird should be lacquered and a glossy burgundy-brown.

Let the chicken rest for about 15 minutes before carving.

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Recipe Source

From recipe developer Olga Massov.

Tested by Jacob Brogan.

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Nutritional Facts

Calories per serving (based on 6, using all the glaze): 590

% Daily Values*

Total Fat: 32g 49%

Saturated Fat: 9g 45%

Cholesterol: 190mg 63%

Sodium: 740mg 31%

Total Carbohydrates: 13g 4%

Dietary Fiber: 0g 0%

Sugar: 9g

Protein: 59g

*Percent Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Total Fat: Less than 65g

Saturated Fat: Less than 20g

Cholesterol: Less than 300mg

Sodium: Less than 2,400mg

Total Carbohydrates: 300g

Dietary Fiber: 25g

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