Mom’s Chicken Pomegranate and Walnuts

Chef Einat Admony is author of the fabulous cookbook Balaboosta: Bold Mediterranean Recipes to Feed the People You Love. This recipe is excerpted from Balaboosta (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2013. Photographs by Quentin Bacon.

My mom taught me a lot about cooking, but she also taught me about kitchen responsibility—stuff like how to clean rice so there are no black spots and how to properly rinse fava beans. One job I remember in particular was removing, separating, and collecting pomegranate seeds for her famous preserves. This jam goes wonderfully on bread, but mainly it was for her chicken: she'd mix it with water and let it simmer on the chicken inside the pan. It makes a sweet-and-sour chicken better than anything you'll find at a Chinese restaurant.

If, for some crazy reason, you manage to live without pomegranate confiture, you can replace it by whisking together 1/2-cup pomegranate molasses, 1/2-cup pomegranate juice, and 1/4-cup honey.



2 pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks
1 tablespoon plus 1-teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 ¼ cups pomegranate confiture
2 cups toasted walnuts*
Pinch of saffron threads (optional)


Place a large pot over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. While the pot is heating, pat the chicken dry and season with the cumin, turmeric, salt, and pepper.

Add the oil to the pot and add the chicken. Brown the chicken on all sides. Overcrowding the pot will steam the chicken instead of searing it. Add the pomegranate comfiture and stir in the walnuts and the saffron.

Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 45 minutes. Uncover and reduce the sauce for another 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and take the pot straight to the able for a family-style meal. Serves 4 to 6


Some avoid nuts at Rosh Hashanah meals. We suggest just omitting the walnuts if this is your tradition.

Recipe: Kosher, poultry, Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah