This chicken is called Jeweler’s chicken, not just because it’s so rich, but because of the beautiful ruby-garnet color of the pomegranate seeds. I made a similar chicken dish recently – Pomegranate Glazed Chicken, seen here.
I found this recipe came in a marvelous French cookbook Chez Bonne Femme by Wini Moranville. Wini also shares some of recipes on her website The Bonne Femme Cookbook, link here.
If you’ve ever wondered if French bonne femmes modern cook with pomegranate juice (I did), Winni assures you they do. Pomegranate juice is called jus de grenade in French and should not be confused with grenadine, a cocktail syrup. She also cautions you not to substitute grenadine for the pomegranate juice.
I made a few petite but minor changes to the original recipe. For our taste, bone-in, fat on chicken thighs contains too much excess fatty skin. I removed as much of the fatty skin as I possibly could, plus I totally removed the bottom piece of skin from the chicken, leaving only the top piece. I also deglazed the pan with the wine before adding the chicken back into the pan after the initial browning step. Our chicken thighs were large and in that case, I felt one was plenty for a serving as opposed to two. But if you have a hearty eater or your thighs are on the small size, by all means serve the recommended two.
If you can’t find fresh pomegranate seeds, you can always remove them the easy way using Chris from The Café Sucre Farine’s method shown here. Hot cooked rice and a green vegetable, such as green beans, go well with this dish.
Jeweler’s Chicken or Poulet Bijoutiere
Adapted from The Bonne Femme Cookbook by Wini Moranville – serves 4
8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
5 garlic cloves, crushed
4 large shallots, peeled & quartered
¼ cup semi-sweet white wine, such an off dry German Riesling
¾ cup pomegranate juice
¼ cup low-sodium, low-fat chicken broth
2 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 tablespoons red currant jelly
Fresh pomegranate arils (seeds) for garnish
Remove as much excess fat from the chicken thighs as possible, leaving the skin on one side only. (I also removed the bottom piece of skin.) Season on both sides with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub the inside of a large, deep skillet or good size brazier with one of the garlic cloves, then discard the clove. Heat the oil in the pan over medium-high heat until it shimmers; add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 10 to 15 minutes. The chicken will cook further in the recipe. Reduce the heat to medium if the chicken browns too quickly. Do not crowd the pan or the chicken will steam, so you may want to brown it in batches. When the chicken is browned, transfer to a platter and set aside. Drain off all but a sheet of the fat from the pan.
Reduce the heat to medium and add the remaining garlic and the shallots. Cook, stirring, until the garlic and shallots are soft and beginning to brown lightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Take care not the let the garlic burn.
Add the wine to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon or whisk to loosen any browned bits from the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and boil briefly until reduced by half. Add the chicken thighs back to the pan along with pomegranate juice, chicken broth, and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, turning the chicken now and then so both sides of the chicken become colored by the juice.
Discard the fresh thyme springs and stir in the red currant jelly. Continue to cook at an active simmer until the internal temperature of the chicken registers 180 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 15 to 17 minutes, shifting the chicken and stirring the sauce occasionally. If the sauce becomes overly thick before the chicken is done, stir in a tablespoon or so of water into the sauce. The sauce should be the consistency of a spoonable glaze.
Arrange two thighs on each of four dinner plates and spoon the sauce over the chicken. Garnish each portion with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds and serve with hot cooked rice and a green vegetable, such as green beans.
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If you are looking for a great alternative to corn beef for St. Patrick's Day, give my Beef Carbonnade stewed in Guinness a try.