Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken Breast with Basmati Pilaf


Chicken and rice never looked so dazzling. Pomegranate seeds, tossed with basmati rice, are exceptionally high in antioxidants; juice adds sweet tartness to the chicken's glaze.


  • 1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed

  • 2 cups low-sodium store-bought chicken stock

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

  • 3 pomegranates

  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • ¾ teaspoon coarse salt

  • 2 bone-in, skinless chicken breast halves (about 13 ounces each)

  • 1 cup finely chopped onion

  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about ½ ounce)

  • 1 large scallion, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced (about ¼ cup)

  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, plus sprigs for garnish


  1. Combine rice, stock, and bay leaf in a medium, heavy saucepan; season with 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer until rice is tender, about 45 minutes. Drain rice; discard bay leaf. Let cool completely.

  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put garlic and lemon juice into a small heatproof bowl; set aside. Cut pomegranates in half. Remove seeds from two halves; set aside 3/4 cup seeds (reserve any remaining seeds for another use). Extract juice from remaining four halves with a citrus juicer or reamer. Strain into a small saucepan. (You should have about 1 cup juice.)

  3. Cook pomegranate juice over medium heat until syrupy and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Stir into lemon juice and garlic; let glaze cool completely.

  4. Brush 2 teaspoons oil over bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Season both sides of chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Put chicken, bone side down, into prepared dish; brush all over with glaze. Roast, brushing with glaze every 8 to 10 minutes and adding 1/4 cup water each time, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165 degrees, 30 to 35 minutes.

  5. Brush chicken with pan glaze. Tent dish with foil; let chicken rest 10 minutes.

  6. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 6 minutes. Stir in cumin, and cook 1 minute. Add rice; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 5 minutes. Stir in nuts, scallion, cilantro, pomegranate seeds, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Remove from heat. Divide rice mixture among 4 plates. Remove chicken from bone, and cut on the diagonal into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Arrange over rice, dividing evenly. Garnish with cilantro sprigs.

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