One-Pot Pomegranate Roasted Chicken Recipe

Pomegranate molasses was the topic of my very first column in ELLE à Table when I started writing for the French cooking magazine in the spring of 2008. (Pick it up if you’re ever visiting France!)

In this article I shared my enthusiasm for this amazing ingredient, obtained by reducing pomegranate juice to a thick, dark red syrup. A staple of Lebanese and Persian cuisines in particular, this fruity and acidic condiment is a treat for fans of tart flavors, of which I am a card-carrying member.

In fact, pomegranate molasses is one of my secret weapons when I want to add a little zing to my cooking, an extra trilling note that will be hard to put your finger on but will make all the difference. I may add a few drops to a vinaigrette, stir a spoonful into a yogurt sauce for bulgur, and use it in muhammara of course. I have glazed duck breasts and fish fillets with it, and seasoned mashed root vegetables as well; it is particularly good with celeriac and parsnips.

When dessert time rolls around, pomegranate molasses can be used with a light hand to season fruit salads (especially berries and blood oranges) and poured over roasted figs, to be served with fresh cheese.

In the recipe I am bringing to you today, pomegranate molasses lends depth and sparkle to a lively marinade for a cut-up chicken. Thus voluptuously coated, the chicken goes into the oven (the stovetop or the grill are equally good options depending on your preference and the weather) and comes out fall-off-the-bone tender and divinely caramelized. It is irresistible.

Pomegranate Roasted Chicken

This is a minimalist recipe that has you mix everything in the pot you’ll use for cooking, and I think you’ll want to add it to your repertoire of simple yet wowing dishes: such rich flavors make it feel like you’ve surely put a lot more effort into it than you really have.

The only special ingredient involved is the pomegranate molasses. I buy mine at Heratchian Frères, my official supplier of Near Eastern ingredients in Paris. You can also order it online or make your own, from bottled pomegranate juice. If worse comes to worst, I grant you permission to use balsamic vinegar instead.

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One-Pot Pomegranate Roasted Chicken Recipe

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Serves 4.

One-Pot Pomegranate Roasted Chicken Recipe


  • One organic chicken, about 1.7 kilos (3 3/4 pounds), or 4 chicken legs
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari (make sure it is gluten-free as needed)
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs, such as Herbes de Provence or a mix of thyme, rosemary, basil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 large shallot or 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • For serving:
  • Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Steamed rice


  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).
  2. Cut the chicken into 8 pieces (2 breasts, 2 wings, 2 thighs, 2 drumsticks) following this excellent video tutorial; save the backbone for homemade stock.
  3. Alternatively, have your butcher cut it up for you, or use just thighs and cut them in two at the joint.
  4. Place the chicken in a Dutch oven or other heavy, ovenproof pot with a lid.
  5. Pomegranate Roasted Chicken
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the cilantro, and stir well to combine. (You can prepare this a few hours to a day ahead -- without preheating the oven! -- and allow the chicken to marinate in a covered container in the fridge.)
  7. Pomegranate Roasted Chicken
  8. Place the lid on the pot, put it in the oven, and cook for 1 1/2 hours, checking every 30 minutes or so to flip the chicken pieces and baste them with the juices. (If you find that you don't have very much juice, which depends on the chicken and the airtightness of the lid, add a splash of water.)
  9. Remove the lid and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.
  10. Pomegranate Roasted Chicken
  11. Serve over steamed rice, with a shower of fresh cilantro.


  • This can also be cooked on the stovetop for the same amount of time.
  • If you'd like to use your slow cooker, set it on low and cook for 7 to 8 hours
  • In grilling weather, you can cook the chicken in indirect heat on the barbecue.

Pomegranate Roasted Chicken

  • Patricia Miller

    I think that I will definitely be trying this on the grill. It looks delicious.

  • Taste of France

    I love, love, love Khoreshe fesenjan, the Persian name for this dish. I have a recipe in a cookbook, but after 20-some years it will be nice to mix it up. My cookbook’s recipe uses ground walnuts to thicken the sauce.

    • Oh my, I had no idea this had an existence outside of my own dabblings. I’d love to hear more about the recipe you have. What’s in the seasoning mix?

      • Taste of France

        Sorry for the delay. My recipe is in The Complete Middle East Cookbook by Tess Mallos. The sauce involves ghee, onion, walnuts, pomegranate juice, brown sugar, cinnamon bark and lemon juice. Delicious.

        • Thanks for the recommendation!

        • dorasiah

          I have this cookbook too! With the cloth and hard cover binding, it’s one gorgeous cookbook.

          • Thanks for the added recommendation, Dorasiah. I’m adding it to my wishlist for sure!

  • Hi Clothilde, I love pomegranate molasses. I use it to finish off duck magrets when they come out of the oven, it gives a nice, slightly sour taste to them which cuts through the fat.

    Sorry, but I am going to nit pick. Do you mean four chicken thighs or 4 chicken legs, thighs and drumsticks? I think 4 thighs wouldn’t weigh enough.

    I am going to try this with two guinea fowl (pintade) legs I have in the freezer. I think the slow cooking will be OK for them.

  • I’m just back from Switzerland and ‘fell’ into my overflowing mailbox – you came out nr the top and looking at that casserole, my heart was hammering with desire… :)
    Reading about how to get this pomegranate molasse, I thought ‘why don’t I just simply take my trusted (and quite expensive) balsamico (which I often buy in Switzerland and which I own in various quality degrees)….. and then you said the magic word: If worst comes to worst….. – so I am saved for the time being!
    I don’t want to hoard even more ingredients (having already a quite substantial amount of English, Swiss, Italian specialties) and I just KNEW that this chicken pot has my name on it! Also, I adore pomegranates but they are hell to shell and the mess I create every single time is in no way related to the result I get. Therefore it’s out of my ingredients list. I like them best plucked directly from the (Italian) tree and eaten at the table standing in its shadow…. Amen to that and thank you for your always amazing posts.
    I’m also, presently, and amongst many others, reading your Chocolate & Zucchini book in English and I love your stories around the recipes. The only trouble of course is that the book is for the American market and everything is in cups, oz, and Fahrenheit…. David Lebovitz always puts everything in C/F and grams, so much more useful for us Europeans but I think I can live with that! :)

    • Thanks so much for writing, Kiki. I loved this sentence especially: “I like [pomegranates] best plucked directly from the (Italian) tree and eaten at the table standing in its shadow”.

      As for the Chocolate & Zucchini book, my American publisher only wanted one set of measurements back then. Fortunately they’ve come around since then, and my other books (as the website) have both…

  • Annabel Smyth

    I have a bottle of pomegranate molasses, but haven’t used it much. This will be a recipe to try when we come back from holiday (the motor home doesn’t have an oven, and I think we’d melt if I tried to cook something for 90 minutes on the stove top, especially if it’s as hot in Arras/Beauvais/Chantilly as it is here!).

    • It’s certainly one of those ingredients you can soon forget about if you’re not careful! Fortunately it keeps virtually forever. :)

  • yesterday, I SAW the PomPom Pomegranate JUICE but didn’ buy it (yet) – I might be the next convert :)
    PS: I DID however ‘grill’ aubergines, courgettes, toms, onions, garlic & 2 half-peppers with deli virgin olive oil & added, at the end, a generous spritz of balsamico – heaven on a hot, hot day!

    • That sounds wonderful indeed! I’ll try doing the same with some pomegranate molasses. :)

  • Rebecca Lebeau

    I am very excited to try this-I love pomegranate molasses and have used it in other recipes. I am also on a chicken thigh kick so I’m thinking of trying it with all chicken thighs. Looks fabulous-thank you!

    • Thank you Rebecca! What have you used your pomegranate molasses in so far?

  • dorasiah

    Love pomegranate molasses! Usually add it to salads to kick them up a notch or make vinaigrette with it. Otherwise a splash in sparkling water for a bit of sweet tanginess. Your dish looks very appetising!

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  • John Atkins

    I used thigh fillets bone in, skin on and drumsticks in a cast iron dish and was pleasantly surprised at how much beautiful juices there was. This is an easy way to wow your guests. Great flavours, one pot, no mess…hands free to hold the wine glass and talk….A definite keeper. (I served with crispy parmesan Cauliflower Tots rather than the rice and this went really well to mop up the juices.)

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