LOVE LOVE LOVE pomegranates!!  When you mention pomegranates these days though, the words 'flavour of the month' may well spring to mind.  They seem to be in absolutely everything from desserts, to salads, to cocktails - even savoury dishes.  I had been pondering over pomegranates for a while - such a beautiful exotic fruit with such a cool texture...but honestly, how on earth do you get into them??

I've been lucky enough to buy them ready-seeded and so, like everyone else, have been using them in loads of dishes lately - kind of like we all used 'pesto' back in the 90's...

However pomegranates really are an amazing 'superfood'  (containing  powerful antioxidants - that other buzzword!) and I was determined to get to the core of them.  Figuring the fresh version must surely be superior to the pre-seeded packs, I bought a couple of them the other day, (along  with some pomegranate molasses, orange blossom and rose water - all at the bargain price of under $4 each from the fab Eden Gourmet).

My great idea was to combine the molasses [not in fact molasses, but a syrup made from super concentrated pomegranate juice and sugar - an amazing mix of both sweet and sour] with chicken for a spicy autumn feast, garnished with the 'real' pomegranate seeds...

After chopping (nearly losing a finger), scooping (and managing to permanently stain a white tee shirt), squeezing (ditto the kitchen wall) I amassed a small bowl of seeds and juice at great personal cost, that to be honest, didn't taste any better or worse than the supermarket stuff...my verdict: save yourself the trouble and go with the ready-prepared in this case!

Chicken with Lemon and Pomegranate Molasses

1 chicken - deboned (I learnt how to do this from a chef who hailed from the appropriately named, Hell's Kitchen - but that's a whole other post)
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 tspns Ras el Hanout (this is an awesome spice mix that's actually made up of cumin, cinnamon, ginger,paprika,coriander,tumeric, pepper, cardomom, allspice, mace, rosebuds(!!),nutmeg, cloves, saffron and bay leaves)
1/2 cup pomegranate molasses*
1/2 cup turkish apricots
drizzle of olive oil
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds (extracted at own risk or bought)

Combine all ingredients, coating chicken well and marinate in fridge a few hours.
When ready, bake in preheated oven (350F) for about an hour, basting periodically with pan juices.  

Serve chicken sprinkled with pomegranate seeds, couscous and baby spinach.
(*My new love)

NOTE: Prepare the above dish to New Order's version of 'Love Will Tear Us Apart' just because it is such a great LOVE song!