So I made this dish a month or so back and really did it all wrong! How you may ask? Well for one, I used pomegranate molasses, because I had it on hand, instead of the juice. Do NOT do this. For the love of your taste buds…really do not do this. Pomegranate molasses is great in some dishes but very tart. Suck your face in through your cheeks tart. So spend the time crushing and straining pomegranate seeds OR buy the juice (just juice nothing else in the juice!)
Tabikh Habb Rumman:
A cooked dish of pomegranate seeds
Finely pound pomegranate seeds and strain. Thicken with shelled almonds. Add sugar, mint, cinnamon, and mastic, allowing it to congeal over the fire. Mix with chicken which has been boiled and baked. Boil it. If you want to put pumpkin with it, do so. (Ibn al-‘Adim Kitab al-Wuslah/Salloum, pp. 98)
Whole chicken or 6 chicken thighs
1.5 C pomegranate juice
1 C shelled almonds (I used slivered…had ‘em on hand)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon and ground mastic
1 tsp. sugar
2 tsp mint
Gather your items up. Takes just a moment.
I placed the chicken thighs in water to boil.
The thighs were then placed in a baking dish to cook for 35 minutes at 350.
Fresh from the oven and roasting. Personally, I can’t tell the difference of boiling then roasting instead of just roasting. Perhaps it keeps the meat moist; however if you pay attention you can do this with roasting as well. I’m sure somewhere, someone did this as a roast or just a boil and not both steps at once; however this time, we do both steps!
A quick note: Mastic smells a bit like pine resin yet has a slight almost lemon taste. Don’t use a lot of this. A little goes a loooong way. This is more to perfume the dish then to add actual flavor.
The pomegranate juice was mixed with the almonds and spices. The mixture is stirred till thickened. The sauce smells amazing. I can not emphasis how wonderful the aroma is. Just beautiful. I don’t normally wax enthusiastically about a smell over the taste, but the first thing you notice when cooking is just how gorgeous this sauce smells. Take the time and take a few deep breaths; enjoying each inhale!
I decided against pumpkin. It is a period item but not one I had on hand easily today. If you’re going to use pumpkin don’t use the orange ones!! Those are modern and for show, being bred for size not taste. Get a heritage pumpkin and roast that with just a touch of oil on the inside (after scooping out the seeds).
Pull the chicken out of the oven and place in the pot with the pomegranate mix.
You can leave the pieces whole or shred. Mix with the pomegranate sauce and serve over rice. I do suggest leaving the chicken in the sauce till the meat is almost falling off the bone. A long slow simmer of 30 minutes.