Chicken pairs wonderfully with most fruit, sweet or sharp, including pomegranate seeds a combination inspired by Diana Henry. Here these bright red seeds add punctuating crunch and flavour, while perilla’s fabulous blend of mint and cumin flavours lends depth and freshness. If you can’t find perilla (aka shiso), you’ll find equal amounts of coriander and mint work equally, if differently, well.
- Yield: 4 Servings
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 10 g butter
- 8 chicken thighs (bone-in)
- 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
- ¼ tsp hot paprika
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 425 ml chicken stock
- 150 ml crème fraîche
- ½ pomegranate, seeds extracted
- A handful of perilla (or coriander and mint), finely chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a wide frying pan. Season the chicken thighs with salt and pepper and brown on both sides, in 2 or 3 batches to avoid crowding the pan. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper.
- Add the onion to the pan and cook gently, stirring frequently, for 15 minutes or so until soft and translucent. In the meantime, toast the cumin seeds in a small dry frying pan over a medium-low heat until fragrant, then crush with a pestle and mortar. Add the cumin, chilli flakes, paprika and garlic to the onion and cook for a few more minutes.
- Return the chicken thighs to the pan and pour in the stock. Bring to the boil, then immediately turn down the heat to a slow blip. Cover and cook for 20 minutes, then take off the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes. Test the chicken with a sharp knife the juices should run clear. If not, cook for a little longer.
- Stir the crème fraîche into the reduced cooking liquor. As soon as it begins to bubble again, remove from the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning. Scatter the pomegranate seeds and perilla over the chicken and serve.