August 9, 2009

Sunday Experiments with Pomegranate Juice

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Every once in a while a company will send me products to review or sample. I only write about them if I like them and if I think it will be useful to my readers. Last week, the POM Wonderful company emailed me to see if I would like to receive some pomegranate juice. This was an easy one for me. Because I loved pomegranate juice long before my love was reciprocated.

I was surprised when a box of 8 bottles of pomegranate juice arrived in the mail. What would I possibly do with that much juice? I drank some, which was delicious, but then I got the urge to cook and packed the rest up for my cooking extravaganza this weekend at my parents' house while they were out of town.

First up:

Pomegranate Blueberry Sorbet

1/2 c. water
1/2 c. sugar
16 oz. pomegranate juice
2 c. frozen or fresh blueberries

Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil, until sugar is dissolved. Add pomegranate juice and blueberries. Bring to a boil again, stirring occasionally to break up some of the blueberries. Let it cool completely. Pour into ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's instructions.

Yield: 1 qt.

A scoop of this sorbet in a glass with club soda poured over it is very refreshing.

Next:

Chicken with Pomegranate Sauce

4 chicken thighs, skin on, bone-in
Kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c. vegetable stock
8 oz. pomegranate juice

Season chicken thighs with salt and pepper and place in a preheated pan, skin side down. Cover and turn heat to medium high. Cover and let chicken brown until skin is crispy and brown, about 12 minutes. Turn thighs over and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside on a plate.

You may need to spoon some of the skin grease out of the pan after the chicken is cooked, leave 1-2 T. in the pan. Add the onion and garlic and saute until caramelized and lightly browned. At this point, you can remove the onions and garlic and set aside to use in a side dish (mashed potatoes are good) or you can leave them in the sauce. I prefer to remove them so that the sauce is smooth, but still has the flavor of the onions and garlic.

Add one cup of the vegetable stock to the pan to deglaze and scrape up the brown bits off the bottom of the pan. Once the pan is deglazed, add the pomegranate juice, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes, until reduced by half. Add remaining stock and bring to a boil again. Add the chicken back into the sauce and turn off the heat. Cover and let it sit for 5-6 minutes. Be sure to spoon sauce over the chicken, so the flavor is in every bite.

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Pomegranate juice is rich and deep and more intense than regular juices. It's also good for you. But mostly it just tastes really good and is versatile in cooking. The chicken recipe that I made today was not super sweet, just a touch of sweet, like I had added wine to the recipe. The sorbet was sweet, but not overly so, but again had that deep richness that I so appreciate in food. It can be expensive - so don't buy it at the gourmet stores. Shop around a little. It's worth it.

4 comments:

chelsea said...

Yum!! That sorbet looks so good. Wish I could taste some!

Chef John J. Goddard said...

Ha! They sent me some too. I haven't blogged my experiment yet, but POMWonderful is tasty stuff for sure.

Hey, It's Ansley said...

Missed you at the beach but sounds like you had some good stuff here too.

ABS said...

I love Trader Joe's organic pom juice. Can't wait to try that chicken recipe! Yum.