This post was inspired by a special recipe contest held by the folks at Pom Wonderful and by Jenn of The Foodie Blogroll.
Let’s start at the end, shall we? When the cooking time is over, you lift the lid, the steam rises, and suddenly you are enthralled by the combined fragrances of pomegranate, ginger, shallots, aromatic spices and potions – and the matchless perfume of fresh steamed dumplings. You inhale… deeply… and smile.
Not a bad way to start a meal, don’t you think?
This recipe is easy, but produces a rich and complex sauce that infuses the chicken with magnificent Asian flavors and the mellow sweetness of pomegranate. The dumplings are a link between the “chicken & dumplings” tradition of the West, and the steamed buns of the East.
Here’s a photo of the Pomegranate-Infused Ginger Chicken With Sesame Scallion Dumplings below.
Note: you can use chicken breasts in this recipe, but reduce the cooking time by ten minutes.
3 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
2 Tbsp brown sugar
4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into large chunks
2 Tbsp minced shallots
4 cloves garlic, minced
White parts of 3 thin scallions, chopped (reserve green parts for dumplings)
3 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp grated orange zest
3 tsp ground star anise
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
2 cups pomegranate juice
3/4 cup pomegranate arils (I used Pom Wonderful Fresh Pomegranates)
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
1-1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 tsp salt
Green parts of 3 thin scallions, cut into fine shreds (about 2 Tbsp)
Grated orange zest
Heat the oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the sugar and stir, using a wooden spoon, until sugar darkens just slightly. Turn heat to high, add the chicken pieces, and stir well to coat. Cook chicken for a few minutes until the outside of the chicken pieces turn opaque.
Reduce heat to medium-high and add the shallots, garlic, scallion, ginger, orange zest, and star anise. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes until shallots and garlic have softened a bit.
Add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and pomegranate juice. Bring to a boil; cover and reduce heat to simmer. After 30 minutes, stir in the pomegranate arils and return to simmer.
After adding the pomegranate arils, prepare the dumplings: toast the sesame seeds in a heavy pan over medium high heat until lightly colored, stirring regularly so they toast evenly. Allow them to cool slightly and coarsely crush them in a mortal or spice grinder.
In a mixing bowl, combine the seeds, flour, salt, and scallions, and gradually add enough water to make a soft, wet dough (you want it soft enough to dollop with a spoon.)
While the chicken is simmering, drop large spoonfuls (about 2-3 tablespoons) of the dough onto the surface of the sauce, then allow to steam (without removing cover) until dumplings are cooked through (about 7-10 minutes, depending on size.)
Serve the “chicken & dumplings” immediately, sprinkled with chopped cilantro and additional orange zest. Serves 4 - 5.
Please join us tomorrow to find out more about our new and delicious recipe for Pomegranate French Toast Frittata With Coriander-Pomegranate Bacon as part of this week’s special focus on pomegranates.
If you enjoyed today’s recipe, you might also enjoy these other interesting posts that feature pomegranates:
- Coconut Chipotle Mojo Shrimp With Pomegranate Relish
- Chicken Pomegranate Stuffed Shells With Gorgonzola Cream and Pine Nuts
- Cooking With Zest: Recipes That Make the Most of Fresh Lemon, Orange, and Lime Fruit Zest
- Chipotle Mojo Chicken Tacos With Marinated Mushrooms and Peppers Recipe
- Green Pea and Lemongrass Paradise Pasta With Pan-Seared Asparagus Recipe