Chicken in Pomegranate Sauce

This dish is full of vibrant color, flavors, and textures. To make it, sear chicken leg quarters until the skin is crisp and brown and then baked in a savory walnut-pomegranate sauce. Serve with rice and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 15 minutesTotal: 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups walnut halves
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1 1⁄2 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 1 1⁄4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 4 skin-on chicken leg quarters, trimmed
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1⁄4 cup chopped parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice


  • Preheat oven to 475° F.
  • In the bowl of a food processor, with the machine running, blend the garlic, onion, walnuts, cinnamon, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper until the mixture forms a paste. Slowly pour the pomegranate juice through feed tube and process until it forms a thick liquid.
  • Pat chicken legs dry with paper towel and season with 1⁄2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon pepper.
  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat the olive oil until it shimmers. Working in batches and using tongs, add the chicken legs, skin-side down. Sear, without moving for 3 minutes, or until well browned. Turn the chicken and cook an additional 3 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a large baking dish. Do not clean skillet.
  • In the same skillet over medium heat, add the walnut-pomegranate mixture and cook, stirring frequently until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Pour the mixture into the baking dish, around the chicken legs, and bake for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley, pomegranate seeds and a sprinkling of lemon juice.