Conquering Broiling

Minutes spent doing psych GRE review, 0; minutes spent working on the incredibly lame beginnings of a personal statement, 15; minutes spent reading Northanger Abbey, 150.

Like many good stories I know, this one starts not with my own experiences but with someone else's. I was testing with a coworker, and he was relating to me his very eventful night, which included winning at a poker tournament he was trying to lose at because he wanted to leave and then getting drunk at a local bar and challenging the bartender to a cook-off. I then asked whether he knew how to cook at all, and he answered that he doesn't, really, actually - but sometimes he'll just make something up out of nowhere, like once he marinaded chicken in pomegranate juice and then sprinkled the seeds over. As far as I know, the bartender hasn't called him to schedule the cook-off, but I was really more intrigued by the pomegranate idea anyway.

You know how sometimes something sticks in your mind, and resists being a fleeting thought? There needed to be pomegranate chicken.
A online search brought up almost immediately a post on words to eat by (the first blog I ever started reading, way before appetitive came to be), which sounded beautiful
. I can't hold a candle to Debbie's photos, but mine came out rather prettily as well if I do say so myself.

I did sneak a taste of marinade before the chicken went in, and adjusted the juice up a bit to counteract the balsamic. It's really tasty. (POM juice has an online site with a bunch of other recipes to try as well, if you're like me and now are wondering what to do with the rest of a giant juice bottle . . . the grilled eggplant, pomegranate vinagrette, and pretty much any of the drinks are ones I'd go to first.) This was actually the first time using the broiler on this particular oven, and I am still mystified by it being so close to the floor, but it did a splendid job on the chicken keeping it nice and moist. Though I like the chicken as is, I don't think this fully comes into its own until you have the sauce with it - oh my gosh, that's good.

adapted from Debbie's recipe at words to eat by

1/4 to 1/2 c pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 scant Tbsp honey
1/4 c olive oil
2 large cloves garlic, pressed
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp thyme leaves
1-2 bay leaves
1/4 tsp salt
cracked black pepper
boneless, skinless chicken breasts

In a large measuring cup or bowl mix together all the marinade ingredients. Taste and adjust the pomegranate juice and other seasonings. Place the chicken in a ziploc bag and pour the marinade over. Seal the bag tightly and place in a bowl; let marinade in the refrigerator for at least half an hour (mine was in 2 hours).
Preheat the broiler. Cover a broiler pan with foil and spray with nonstick spray. Place the chicken on the broiler pan and cook for about five minutes a side. When the chicken's done, remove from the pan and let rest for five minutes.
While the chicken is cooking, place the marinade in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Let boil for several minutes until it reaches a suitable consistency. Serve the chicken with the sauce spooned over.


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