Pomegranate Glazed Chicken With Mastiha-scented Couscous

First off, I’m using pure pomegranate juice. I’ve tasted the bottle juices and although they are fine, their flavour just doesn’t match the juice from fresh pomegranates. Secondly, I’m using bone-in chicken breast, skinless chicken breasts. I removed the skins because once the glaze gets brushed on that crispy skin, the texture changes to rubber. Thirdly, I reduce the pomegranate juice until it comes to the consistency of a syrup. I brush the chicken breasts at the very end, assuring the glaze sticks to the chicken and the concentrated flavour of the glaze is pronounced.

Finally, I also made the couscous and my only twist was to add some ground Mastiha for a more complex flavour and aroma. With a little organization, you can pull this dish off during the weekday. Get the pomegranate glaze going, rinse your chicken and pre-heat your oven. Throw the chicken in and set the table and make a salad while you’re waiting for the glaze and chicken to come together. The couscous takes minutes and dinner is ready!

Pomegranate Glazed Chicken

(serves 4)

4 chicken breasts (bone-in and skinless)

coarse sea salt and fresh ground pepper

2 cups of pomegranate juice (about 3 ripe pomegranates)

zest of 1/2 orange

3 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 tsp. dried rosemary

Mastiha-scented Couscous With Pistachios

1 cup of coucous

1 tsp. of ground Mastiha (place in the freezer for at least a couple of hours)

2-3 Tbsp. of extra-virgin Greek olive oil

1 whole scallion, finely sliced

1/3 cup of shelled pistachios (unsalted), chopped

1 1/3 cup water

Pre-heated 375 oven

  1. Cut your pomegranates in half and tap the the skin-side of each half to help release the seeds and use your hands to remove the remaining seeds from the membrane. Add to a food processor/blender and process until you have a juice. Strain, remove and discard the seeds.
  2. In a small saucepan, add your pomegranate juice, the garlic and rosemary and bring to a boil. Now reduce to a simmer (medium-low heat) and cook down until it’s reduced to about 1/4 cup or to a syrup-like consistency. Reserve.
  3. In the meantime, pre-heat your oven. Rinse and pat-dry your chicken breasts. Season with salt and pepper and place on baking sheet and onto the middle rack of your oven. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear or until the internal temperature reaches 175F with your meat thermometer.
  4. In the meantime, Add your olive oil and scallions to a medium-sized pot and sweat down the scallions for 2-3 minutes over medium low heat. Take one or two Mastiha (mastic) tears (frozen)  and place between 2 sheets of plastic cling-wrap. Now use a rolling pin and roll over the plastic wrap to crush the Mastiha into a powder. (This is my preferred method, as I lose none of the powder, as is the case with the mortar & pestle).
  5. Carefully add the Mastiha powder into the pot with the softened scallions and add your water, bring to a boil. Once your water has come to a boil, add the coucous and take off the heat. Cover and allow the couscous to bloom for about 5-6 minutes or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste plus the chopped pistachios and fluff with a fork. Reserve and keep warm.
  6. As soon as your chicken is ready, brush the glaze on each chicken breast and serve on a bed of couscous. Serve with a Tsantali Limnio Rose.

NOTE: My friends at the Mastiha Shop in New York City also offers mail-order to anywhere in the US and Canada.

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© 2007-2010 Peter Minakis

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Peter Minakis

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27 Comments for “Pomegranate Glazed Chicken With Mastiha-scented Couscous”

Ξανθή

says:

Peter τι καταπληκτικό χρώμα είναι αυτό!!!Κι οπωσδήποτε πεντανόστιμο!!!

says:

I love a good, fruity glaze with any meat. I’ll have to look out for Mastiha on a menu or store shelf – I’ve never heard of it before. Thanks for educating us, Peter.

says:

Recipe tucked away for next fall – I have great hopes for my little pomegranate tree for next year! The season is over here so I’ll have to be patient, but it looks and sounds fantastic. As to the Mastiha – totally new to me.

says:

hi peter
I have a bottle of “melasse of pomegranate” which looks more than caramel than a juice because the colour is quite dark but I suspect this is different from the juice you have used . Anyway your dish brings some nice colours to our dark winter which does not want to end here in Paris !! Cheers Pierre

says:

This post reminds me that I have a jar of mastiha in the pantry. I kept seeing the ingredient on yours and Ivy’s blog and was so intrigued that I had a friend bring me a jar down from Astoria (Queens,NY). I put it in the pantry and promptly forgot it. It looks like a little goes a long way since you only used a teaspoon here.

says:

My first real experience ever with couscous and saffron – just a few weeks ago, and I loved it. Now I have never heard of Mastiha so I am going to have to look for this (probably won’t be easy to find around here without going to a big city).

says:

I think this dish would work well with some pomegranate molasses if one was not able to get hold of pomegranate juice. The mastiha couscous is a great accompaniment and so easy to make!

says:

Your chicken looks fantastic! Great tip to remove the skin. The couscous sounds great too. I’m not familiar with the flavor of Mastiha, but I’ve seen it used in desserts. Will have to find some and try it!

says:

Beautiful color. I like skinless breasts, too… seems like whatever seasonings you put on the skin doesn’t really get to the chicken anyway.

says:

Yummy… the mastiha couscous… lovely idea. Αν μέναμε κοντά θα σου έδινα πετιμέζι από ρόδι μιας και το έφτιαξα όταν ήτανε στην εποχή τους…

says:

Υπέροχο χρώμα, οι συνδυασμοί που χρησιμοποιείς θα δίνουν σίγουρα και υπέροχη γεύση!!
Καλή βδομάδα Peter!
Φιλιά!

says:

Looks like such a unique dish Peter! I think your improvements to the original recipe are spot-on. Love the shade of red the chicken takes on.

says:

Nice to see you use bone-in chicken; it will stay much more moist that way. I’m puckering just thinking about those pomegranates. Lovely use of the fruit!

says:

Yes love, improve her “perfect” recipe. There’s always room for uniqueness! I made a raspberry pom glazed seared fish this weekend for my sis. She loved the taste, but couldn’t get over the pink color! Ha. She said she had to close her eyes to eat it! LOL! Nice looking chicken! And the couscous, well, I love anything grainy, so I’ll take a bite out of that, too!

says:

Hi!
What is ground Mastiha and where would I find it. The dish looks fantastic. What region of Greece is it from? Anything with pomegranate has me hooked… and once I know more about the ground Mastiha I can call around and try to find it.
Warmly,
Valerie

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