Pomegranate Chicken Skewers with Yogurt, Mint, and Pistachios

pomegranate chicken skewer tastefood
The secret ingredient in this recipe is pomegranate molasses, a viscous syrup made from the juice of pomegranates. Sweet, tart and sticky, it adds a unique flavor to marinades and sauces. I like to use it with chicken breast meat, because it gives a welcome flavor boost to the mild white meat, and the sugars help to caramelize the chicken while grilling. Pomegranate molasses is a popular Middle Eastern condiment, and can be purchased in the international section of your supermarket or at specialty stores.

I made these skewers for a cocktail party I catered a few weeks ago and posted a photo without a recipe on Facebook and Instagram. They were a huge hit with the guests – and my followers – and a number of you asked for the recipe. At last here it is.

Pomegranate Chicken Skewers with Pistachios and Mint
Serves 4 to 6

Marinade:
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 teaspoons Sriracha
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

Sauce:
1 cup whole milk Greek style yogurt
1 garlic clove
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon Sriracha
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons finely chopped unsalted pistachios
2 tablespoons finely chopped mint leaves

1. Whisk the marinade ingredients in a small bowl and set aside about 1/4 cup for basting. Place the chicken in a large bowl, pour the marinade over, and stir to thoroughly coat. Cover and refrigerate the chicken for at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the chicken from the refrigerator 30 minutes before grilling.
2. Whisk the sauce ingredients in a small bowl and refrigerate until use.
3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Thread the chicken on pre-soaked bamboo skewers. Grill the skewers over direct heat, basting once, then turn and continue to cook until the chicken is lightly charred and thoroughly cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes, turning again as needed.
4. Arrange the skewers on a serving platter. Lightly drizzle with oil and sprinkle the pistachios and mint over the skewers. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Pomegranate Glazed Chicken Vegetable Skewers

chicken vegetable skewers~ Pomegranate Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Skewers ~

Everything tastes better on a stick. Skewered chicken, peppers and onions are a simple healthy and quick dinner that the whole family will enjoy and have fun eating. These skewers pack extra flavor with a marinade enriched with sweet and piquant pomegranate molasses. The sugars in the molasses help the chicken brown and crisp while grilling.  If you have the time, marinate the chicken in the refrigerator for up to 6 hours. If not, then simply let the chicken marinate at room temperature while you prepare the vegetables and soak the skewers.

Pomegranate Glazed Chicken Vegetable Skewers

Pomegranate molasses may be found in the international aisle of most supermarkets.

Serves 4 to 6

Marinade:
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon Sriracha or hot sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1-inch chunks
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 bell peppers, stemmed, seeded, cut in 1-inch chunks
2 medium red onions, cut in 1-inch chunks

10 (10-inch) bamboo skewers, pre-soaked 30 minutes

Whisk the marinade ingredients in a bowl. Set aside 1/3 cup for basting. Lightly season the chicken pieces with salt and black pepper. Place in a large bowl and pour the remaining marinade over and stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours (or let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes).

Prepare the grill for direct cooking over medium heat or preheat the oven broiler. Thread the chicken on the skewers, alternating with onions and peppers.
Grill or broil until sides exposed to heat source are golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and baste with reserved marinade. Continue to grill until the other side is golden brown, and the chicken is thoroughly cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Smoked Ham with Pomegranate Molasses, Black Pepper and Mustard Glaze


Ham

If you are looking for a twist on the traditional Easter ham, look no further. This ham is smoked and coated with a Pomegranate Molasses, Black Peppercorn and Mustard Glaze. Unlike the super-sweet glazes frequently used for baked hams, the pomegranate molasses adds a distinct sweet-tart flavor to the glaze without overpowering the meat. Pomegranate Molasses is a thick syrup made from reduced pomegranate juice.  A key ingredient found in Middle Eastern cuisine, its flavor is a unique contrast between sweet and sour, which makes it a great addition to marinades, dressings and glazes. In this recipe, the deep red color of the molasses imparts a rich mahogany hue to the crust of the meat, while it’s sweet and sour flavor coaxes out the smokiness of the ham.  Dijon mustard lends extra sharpness and depth to the flavors while freshly ground black peppercorns give a nice kick.

Smoked Ham with Pomegranate Molasses, Black Peppercorn and Mustard Glaze

This recipe may be doubled. Serve the meat with Dijon mustard, cornichons and extra glaze as condiments for a nice rustic presentation. Pomegranate molasses can be found in Middle Eastern shops or the international specialty aisles in your supermarket. Serves 6.

1/2 bone-in smoked ham, 5-6 lbs.
3/4 cups pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup Dijon mustard, plus extra for serving
2 tablespoons whiskey
1 tablespoon ground whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Cornichons

Let the ham come to room temperature 1 hour before cooking. Preheat oven to 325 F.

Make the glaze: Combine pomegranate molasses, 1/4 cup mustard, whiskey, pepper, allspice and salt in a bowl and mix to blend well.

Prepare ham: Place ham, fat side up, in a foil lined roasting pan. Score fat in a cross-hatch pattern at 1-2″ intervals without incising the meat.
Generously baste the ham with the glaze. Bake in oven, basting occasionally, until internal temperature of the ham is 120 F. (about 10 minutes per pound.) The ham should be deep golden brown and crusty at this time. If not, increase heat to 450 F. and continue to bake for a few minutes, while keeping an eye on the ham so it doesn’t burn. Remove from oven and transfer to cutting board. Let rest 20 minutes before carving. To serve, transfer remaining basting sauce to a small saucepan and simmer briefly, brushing down the sides, to heat through and burn off alcohol.Slice ham and serve with Dijon mustard, cornichons and basting sauce as condiments on the side.