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Pan Roasted Chicken w/Pomegranate Sauce

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Growing up, my Dad was a bit of a fruit freak.  He constantly carried around a bowl of grapes, and never met a summer peach he didn’t like.  But his tastes weren’t just pedestrian.  One day he showed up poolside with an odd looking gourd that he cut in half, and began picking out and sucking on the seeds. “Pomegranate! The fruit of the Gods!” he declared over my mother’s grimace as he spit the seeds into nearby bushes.  After a tedious taste of my own pomegranate seeds, I couldn’t help thinking these gods had a lot of time on their hands.

Thankfully, indulging in pomegranate isn’t nearly as time consuming thanks to the availability of fresh juice used in the sauce of this doB Roasted Chicken recipe.  Pomegranates are a good source of polyphenols, a potent antioxidant that helps protect you from free radicals.  They’re also a great source of Vitamin C, helping you fight off nasty colds and infections (hello, Fall).  And let’s not forget fiber, calcium and iron.  With such a powerful line-up, guess Dad wasn’t so far off claiming pomegranate as the fruit of the gods.

doB Pan Roasted Chicken with Pomegranate Sauce
Ingredients
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup plain pomegranate juice
3/4 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
1 to 2 teaspoons Sherry vinegar
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Stir together cumin, coriander, pepper, cinnamon, and salt in a shallow bowl. Pat chicken dry and dredge in spice mixture until evenly coated.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Reduce heat to moderate and cook chicken turning occasionally until chicken is cooked through.
Transfer chicken with tongs to a cutting board (reserve skillet) and let stand 10 minutes.
While chicken rest, pour off and discard any fat from skillet, then add pomegranate juice to skillet and boil over moderately high heat until reduced to about 2/3 cup, about 3 minutes (if side of skillet begins to scorch, reduce heat to moderate). Stir together cornstarch and water and whisk into juice, then boil sauce until thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from heat and add Sherry vinegar to taste, then swirl in butter until incorporated. Pour sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a bowl and skim off any fat. Season with salt. Slice chicken and serve with sauce.

Serve with brown rice
Side suggestions: roasted yellow peppers seasoned with a coating of olive oil, garlic powder, and salt & pepper to taste

For more of Jon Paul’s writing, check out his blog Poptimistic.com

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