Chicken Thighs Roasted in a Bright, Tart, and Sweet Paste. Yes, Please.
I’ve been cooking from Yasmin Khan’s wonderful “Ripe Figs” cookbook. These recipes come from Turkey, Greece, and Cyprus and many of them originate with refugees who now call these countries their home. This particular recipe comes from a doctor from Syria who now runs a restaurant on the Greek island of Lesvos. To describe this recipe as a hit is a vast understatement. I have shared this recipe many many times and everyone who makes it is astonished at its ease and level of brightly packed flavors.
Chicken thighs are marinated (overnight if you have the time) in a thick paste of pomegranate molasses, tomato paste, allspice, Aleppo pepper, sumac, ground cumin, crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper. One of the things I particularly like is that the marinade stays thick and adheres to the chicken. It never gets runny and pools in the bottom of the bowl. This way, it remains on the chicken when it’s baked and creates a sticky coating on the chicken.
After baking, I run it under the broiler for a few minutes in order to get the skin nicely browned. Even though these are thighs and not chicken legs, there’s no way I could resist picking it up and finishing the last bits while happily licking my fingers. And there would be no reason you couldn’t drizzle these with a little additional pomegranate molasses right before serving in order to add additional tart bright sweetness.
This is one of those recipes I love having up my sleeve when I know I won’t have much time for dinner preparation. Once it’s marinated, you simply put the chicken on a baking sheet, drizzle it with olive oil, bake it for about 35 minutes, make a salad, some rice and dinner is served. Enjoy!
Please note that the recipe link I am providing has neglected to list one of the marinade ingredients – 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin. I think the cumin adds a beautiful deepness of flavor to the chicken and wouldn’t advise you to leave it out.
Here is the recipe link: