Pomegranate Chicken (Romania)
originally adapted by Maeve d'Maas
further adapted over time by Sabrina de la Bere

Serves 4 people

6 boned and skinned chicken thighs - hack into 1" cubes
1 medium/lg onion - diced
2 oz pancetta - chopped fine or if sliced then chop into thin strips
1 cup almonds (with skins)
1 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1 lemon juiced
1-2 oz pomegranate syrup (you can add a bit of pomegranate molasses too)

black pepper - 1/4 t
long pepper (or more black pepper) - 1/4 t.
nutmeg - 1/4 t.
clove - 1/4 t.

Salt chicken and let sit while doing the almond milk.

Grind almonds fine. Place in a cheese cloth and tie tightly. In a bowl, place the pomegranate juice, lemon juice and almonds in the cloth. [Note: this makes enough to double the rest of the recipe to serve without doubling the sauce.]

In a hot pan cook pancetta. When pretty well rendered add onions. When translucent, add chicken and brown. You may need to add a little olive oil to the pancetta or onions or chicken so as to not burn.
Add almond pomegranate milk (squeeze out well and remove almonds in cloth first). Add spices. Bring to a boil and then turn down to simmer. Simmer covered for about 30-40 minutes or until chicken is tender.
Finish by adding the pomegranate syrup and cooking 5 minutes more.

You can made ahead and freeze for 1-2 weeks. When doing this, cook the chicken only 30 minutes and don't add the syrup. Add syrup when reheating.

Recipe also multiplies well - I have made 4x the amounts for when we are support for a war.

Note: this makes a very thin sauce and is very "saucy". Serve with plain couscous and you will find that the sauce is easily absorbed and you won't have too much sauce.

Alternate Variation:
Use whole chicken thighs with skin.

Original Recipe from Liber de coquina - as quoted from: The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy by Odile Redon, Francoise Sabban, & Silvano Serventi. Published by the University of Chicago Press 1998. ISBN 0-226-70684-2.


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Robin Berry being Sabrina de la Bere in the SCA