For the Chicken:
- 1 garlic clove
- 1⁄2 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to fry
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 6 boneless chicken thighs
- seeds from 1⁄2 small pomegranate
For the Quinoa Salad:
- 125g red or white quinoa, rinsed
- 2 handfuls of gently toasted pistachios, roughly chopped
- 1⁄4 red onion, finely chopped
- seeds from 1⁄2 small pomegranate
- 1 celery heart, finely sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and finely diced
- 1⁄2 bunch of parsley, leaves and stalks finely chopped
- 2 large handfuls of mint leaves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil juice of 1 lemon
Thomasina Miers was the winner of BBC MasterChef in 2005. She is a cook and food writer whose work has ranged from cheese-making and running market stalls in Ireland, cheffing with Skye Gyngell at Peterham Nurseries, to co-founding the restaurant group Wahaca. She is a mother of three, lives in London and has once again produced a thoroughly inspiring cookbook in her latest number ‘Home Cook’ which you can now find stocked in our farmshops.
In the meantime, we wanted to share with you this stunning pomegranate-glazed chicken recipe from ‘Home Cook’ – a perfect, light dish for summer lunches. Alternatively, why not try Thomasina’s Simple Flash-Baked Mackerel recipe using fillets from our sustainable farmshop fish counters.
“My children love nothing more than opening up pomegranates, to find the sparkling bright pink jewels hidden within. This is a cheering, colourful salad with a satisfying crunch.”
Place the garlic in a pestle and mortar with a pinch of salt and crush to a paste. Add the cumin seeds and peppercorns and crush them too, then stir in the molasses, oil and lemon juice. Transfer to a large bowl, then add the chicken thighs and rub the marinade into them thoroughly. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 1 hour.
Meanwhile prepare the salad. Place the quinoa in a pan with a few pinches of salt and cover with 800ml boiling water. Cover with a lid and simmer for 15–17 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain in a sieve, then sit the sieve on top of the hot pan and cover it with a clean tea towel. Leave to steam-dry for at least 10 minutes.
Combine the remaining salad ingredients in a bowl (except for the oil and lemon juice) and lightly season. When the quinoa has steamed dry, fluff it up with a fork. While still hot, pour over the oil and half the lemon juice, mix well and season lightly. Combine with the other salad ingredients, squeeze over the remaining lemon and mix well. Set aside.
Add a small splash of oil to a lidded frying pan and place over a medium-high heat. Season the thighs with a little salt and add them skin side down to the pan when hot. Fry for 2 minutes on each side until golden and crisp. Turn them over once more, add the pomegranate seeds, any marinating liquid and a splash of water. Cover, reduce the heat to low and continue to cook for another 3 minutes until cooked through (the juices should run clear when you insert a skewer). Uncover and leave to rest for 3 minutes.
Cut the thighs into thirds and sit them on top of the salad, spooning over the cooking juices and cooked pomegranate seeds.
Why not try pomegranate cake?
Butter and line a 20cm sandwich cake tin. Preheat the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Melt
150g butter, 50g light muscovado and 100g caster sugar together, allow to cool, then beat in 3 eggs in turn. Stir in 2 tbsp pomegranate molasses. Sift 150g plain flour, 1⁄2 tsp bicarbonate of soda and a pinch fine salt into a bowl, then fold in the wet mixture. Stir in 50ml buttermilk, spoon the batter into the prepared cake tin and bake for 25–30 minutes until golden and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Cool for 5 minutes in the tin, poke holes all over with a skewer, then pour over 75ml pomegranate molasses. Remove from the tin before slicing.
Recipe taken from ‘Home Cook’ by Thomasina Miers. Published by Guardian Books and Faber & Faber. Photography by Tara Fisher. £25.