Roast Pomegranate Chicken

Share this with the world

Makes 8 Servings

Cooking + Prep Time: 2 hours & 10 minutes


For the sauce

  • 1 cup of sugar, granulated
  • 1 cup of pomegranate juice, bottled For chicken
  • 8 x 1-lb. small chickens (also called poussins) (can use Cornish hens if you like)
  • 2 tsp. of salt, kosher
  • 2 tsp. of cumin, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. of turmeric, ground
  • 1/2 tsp. of pepper, ground
  • 1/8 tsp. of saffron threads, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup of walnuts, roasted
  • To fry: 2 tbsp. oil, vegetable, + extra as needed


  1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  2. In small sized pan on med-high, whisk 1 cup of water, sugar and pomegranate juice together. Bring to a boil. Leave uncovered and cook for 15-20 minutes, till syrupy and thick.
  3. Rinse the small chickens inside & out. Pat them dry. If they still have necks attached, cut them out and discard them.
  4. In small sized bowl, whisk kosher salt, turmeric, cumin, saffron and pepper together. Sprinkle over the chickens and press to make sure the mixture adheres.
  5. Set a large sized roasting pan over two burners on your stove top. Add 2 tbsp. oil. Heat on med-high till it is hot. Don’t allow it to start smoking.
  6. Work in two batches to sear the chickens till browned well, five minutes for each side. Transfer when done to large sized platter. Add additional oil if you need it. Return chickens to the pan. Pour the pomegranate syrup on and over the top.
  7. Roast chickens for 12-15 minutes. Then baste them with the juices from pan. Scatter walnuts over them. Roast the mixture and baste occasionally till an instant-read thermometer reads 170F, which will take 15-18 minutes or so. Serve.
Excerpt From: Julia Chiles. “Israel Style Recipes: A Complete Cookbook of Middle-Eastern Dish Ideas!”.