Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate

Prepping pomegranates for Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and PomegranateIn The Pom Of Your Hand
I have a pomegranate tree. I inherited it when we bought the house. The tree is enormous and produces a ridiculous number of pomegranates—most of which end up food for the birds and squirrels because my tree does not follow the rules.

Pomegranate season runs from the end of September through November. The fruit on my tree tends to be ripe by the end of August but you would not know because they never quite get to that gorgeous red color that we associate with a pomegranate, even though they are super sweet. So we have to keep an eye out to see when they start to split. At that point, we pick the fruit that is intact and leave the rest for the critters. Needless to say, we get a lot of fruit in a short period of time and have to figure out ways to use, store, or preserve it.

The obvious method is to sprinkle the seeds on salads which we do, with abandon. But, it’s not enough. Yes, you can freeze the seeds. They last up to 6 months in the freezer and are a fantastic addition to any smoothie you might make. But, like all frozen fruit, they can lose some of their integrity when thawed.

Making pomegranate molasses is a no-brainer, especially if you are a fan of Middle Eastern food. And, pomegranate molasses is great in other dishes as well including homemade vinaigrette.

One of my favorite uses for pomegranate is this Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate Seeds recipe that’s a great option for a weeknight dinner. Anyone looking for something different for Thanksgiving could easily double or triple just the squash for a great splash of color on the table.

Chicken with Spaghetti Squash and Pomegranate Recipe
Adapted from Epicurious
Yields servings

This easy sheet-pan dinner is bursting with bright, comforting flavors inspired by Persian cuisine.

1 medium spaghetti squash (2–2 1/2 pounds)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 medium red onion
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons ground allspice, divided
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, divided
4 chicken legs (thigh and drumstick)
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup roasted salted pistachios
1/3 cup pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup dill, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup mint, plus more for garnish

Prep the vegetables
Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, and scrape out the seeds. Peel and quarter the red onion. Coarsely chop the dill and mint. Coarsely chop the pistachio seeds. Seed the pomegranate. (Instructions here.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bake the squash and onions
Sprinkle each half of squash with 1/4 tsp. salt, then place facedown on prepared baking sheet along with onion quarters.

Prep the chicken
Combine turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1 teaspoon of allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat it with the spice mixture.

Arrange the chicken, skin-side up, alongside the squash and onions on the baking sheet. Brush the tops of the chicken with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Bake the ingredients
Bake until the interior of the squash and onions are fork-tender, the chicken skin is crispy, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F (about 35 to 45 minutes).

**If the chicken is finished before the squash, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest until the squash is finished cooking.

Make the dressing
While the chicken and squash are baking, whisk the lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the allspice, and 1/8 teaspoon of the cayenne in a large bowl.

Finish the dish
Remove the tray from the oven. Finely chop the onion quarters and transfer the to the bowl with the dressing.

Using a fork, scrape the spaghetti squash crosswise to pull strands apart from the skin. Scoop the strands into the bowl with the dressing. Discard the spaghetti squash skin. Add the chopped pistachios, pomegranate seeds, chopped dill, and mint. (Remember to reserve some herbs for garnishing.) Toss to coat.

To serve
Divide the pieces of chicken among the plates, sprinkle with the remaining chopped dill and mint, and serve alongside the squash.

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