Pomegranate seeds are my secret weapon. They are like little edible jewels, lending an air of elegance to every dish they adorn. Got yogurt? Sprinkle a handlful of pomegranate seeds on top for a breakfast worthy enough for the queen. Serving a salad at your latest dinner party? A couple of tablespoons of pomegranate seeds will have your guests questioning whether they should have arrived in full fledged black tie.
Lucky for me, pomegranate season is in full swing, making these little lovelies easy to find, so every dish I cook looks like it was whipped up by a Michelin star chef. To celebrate my love for the pomegranate, I made this cocoa chicken with mango and pomegranate chutney. It’s vibrant colors easily make me forget the dreary Boston weather . . .well at least until I step aside.
If you have never had the pleasure of de-seeding a pomegranate, you can find easy demonstrations here or here (the guy in the second video is cute. . .so I recommend watching that one. . .ahem). Not only is this cut and tap method an easy, mess free way to de-seed pomegranates, it is also a great bicep workout which will have your arms ready for sundress season in no time. I’m ordering my case of pomegranates asap.
The cocoa powder in this recipe gives the chicken a rich brown hue which is a nice contrast to the colorful chutney. I like my food spicy so I added fresh chili paste. You can find this in the asian aisle at your local supermarket or you can buy it online here. Add more or less depending on your pain tolerance.
I topped the dish off with a sprinkling of toasted coconut because everything is better with coconut in my book.
Cocoa Chicken with Mango Pomegranate Chutney
- 16 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 3 tablespoons of paprika
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 cup sweet onion (e.g. Vidalia), chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground fresh chili paste
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 mango, diced (1 1/2 cup)
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon raw honey
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 4 teaspoons chopped walnuts, toasted
- 4 teaspoons unsweetened coconut flakes (toasted)
- Preheat oven to 375° F.
- Line a rectangular baking dish with aluminum foil.
- Flatten chicken with a meat tenderizer.
- In a shallow dish (such as a pie dish), combine paprika, cocoa powder, ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
- Dredge chicken through cocoa mixture to coat.
- Transfer chicken to rectangular baking dish and cover with aluminum foil.
- Bake for ~ 30 minutes at 375° F, or until chicken is cooked through.
- While chicken is baking, heat oil in a medium saucepan on medium-high.
- Add onion, fresh ginger, and fresh chili paste. Sauté, stirring frequently, until onion starts to soften.
- Stir in garlic and sauté ~ 1 minute or until garlic is fragrant.
- Add mango, vingar, honey, and cinnamon. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add pomegranate and simmer for ~10 more minutes or until liquid evaporates.
- Top cooked chicken with chutney and garnish with walnuts and toasted coconut.
Recipe adapted from Clean Eating Magazine (April/May 2014 edition)
If you are as enamored with pomegranate seeds as much as I am, you might want to take a look at these recipes:
- A chickpea and pomegranate dip seen here.
- A chocolate pomegranate tart seen here.
- Pomegranate, kale and wild rice salad with walnuts and feta seen here.
- Cracked wheat harvest salad seen here.
- Ricotta flatbread with pomegranate salsa seen here.
- Raspberry pomegranate champagne cocktail seen here.
If you like this recipe, be sure to subscribe to my blog by typing your email address into the box on the top right of this page.