When life gives you pomegranates…

15 Nov

Big Man was born in the beautiful province of Granada. In Spanish, the word Granada means “pomegranate”. The capital city is decorated with many pomegranate symbols from stone bollards to metal work and even man hole covers. Just over the border where our little home is, in the province of Málaga we get to enjoy the real thing in the shape of fruit. The pomegranate plant (which grows into a sizeable tree) produces stunning red flowers, similar to a hibiscus, which then become the beautiful and delicious fruit.

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We’re pretty spoiled as when it’s pomegranate season many neighbours gift them to us. Huge,  beautiful, deep red on the outside, sweet, juicy and ruby coloured jewels on the inside. In England we have to buy them. Sometimes we get lucky and one or two of the little fruits will be sweet, but they’re never quite the same…or as big! You never know what a pomegranate is going to taste like until you get to taste it. And as for peeling a pomegranate…I’ve tried every new way.

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To make the most of a less than sweet fruit, I came across a wonderfully simple recipe using chicken and ras-el-hanout. The slightly acid taste works well with the warm, rose-scented spice. And I’m sharing with you another way to peel a pomegranate. Cutting it in half and bashing it has never worked for me. Usually I end up with a worktop covered in juice and the little pips of fruit stubbornly refusing to drop out. This method still involves a little work separating the pips but it does seem to make the whole job a little easier and much less messy.

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Ingredients (to serve 4 as a main course)

  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken thighs,  diced into bite sized pieces
  • 1 onion (red, if you have it) peeled and finely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic peeled and sliced
  • 2 rounded tablespoons of ras-el-hanout
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 350g bulghar wheat
  • The fruit of a small pomegranate
  • About 2 tablespoons of finely chopped mint, to serve
  • Olive oil for frying

Toss the chicken in half the spice mix and fry in a little olive oil until beginning to brown. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and continue to fry gently until the onion becomes transparent. Add the remaining spice mix and season lightly. Fry for a minute then pour in the stock.

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Bring to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes. Add the bulghar, stir, turn the heat off and cover the pan. Leave to stand for about 15 minutes when the stock will have been absorbed. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. Stir through the pomegranate and garnish with the fresh mint.

An easy dish with just a few ingredients. Unless you’re still doing battle with your pomegranate…

If you enjoy the challenge  of pomegranate peeling, take a look at this lovely recipe using lamb and quince. Note the difference in colour of the fruit in this recipe which was made with a pomegranate bought back from Spain compared to the one in the photos above!

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25 Responses to “When life gives you pomegranates…”

  1. Mad Dog November 15, 2016 at 16:46 #

    That sounds delicious and great pomegranate tip. I love the way that the Spanish incorporate culture into street decoration. In Sant Sadurní all the street bollards are in the shape of cava corks, relative to it being the cava center.

    • Chica Andaluza November 15, 2016 at 22:11 #

      Ooh I need to go there!

      • Mad Dog November 15, 2016 at 22:15 #

        You do, but it might take some persuading when it comes to Big Man as it’s in Cataluña. You would love the annual cava festival 😉

      • Chica Andaluza November 15, 2016 at 22:22 #

        I see your point! But he loves cava so I think ge could be persuaded 😀

      • Mad Dog November 15, 2016 at 22:29 #

        Perfect – they probably make 80%+ of all the cava in Spain around Sant Sadurni 😉

  2. restlessjo November 15, 2016 at 18:49 #

    Well, I could give it a go! They’re on offer in Aldi 🙂

  3. Our Growing Paynes November 15, 2016 at 20:01 #

    I love pomegranate, they are such a beautiful fruit. This is a great way to serve it. Delicious.

    • Chica Andaluza November 15, 2016 at 22:13 #

      Thank you 😀

      • Our Growing Paynes November 15, 2016 at 22:17 #

        I have no idea what I just did, but somehow managed to delete your comment on my post. 😦 I was trying to reply! So thank you for your kind words. 🙂

  4. Tandy | Lavender and Lime November 16, 2016 at 05:02 #

    I tend to just buy the arils but I’m determined to grow my own. And then use your method to get the arils out.

  5. themateriallady November 16, 2016 at 20:13 #

    I like eating pomegranate just as it is so it would be worth trying this. (I don’t even mind wrestling to get the bits out!)

  6. thecompletebook November 17, 2016 at 14:45 #

    Ooo, pomegranates are Pete’s favourite from childhood so reckon we should enjoy this together on our next trip to the UK. What do you think?
    Thank you again for a truly special and most memorable day spent together.
    Love from the African shores to you.
    🙂 Mandy xo

    • Chica Andaluza November 18, 2016 at 15:50 #

      Pomegranates are soooo good even on their own. Most definitely we’ll put this on the list for next time! Thank you too for such a wonderful day together. Big Man got back yesterday and was most thrilled with his gift 😀

  7. marieryan November 17, 2016 at 19:40 #

    OOH lovely! That first photograph is absolutely mouth-watering! I’m definitely going to give this a try. Thank you for sharing. Saludos de Málaga…

    • Chica Andaluza November 18, 2016 at 15:51 #

      De nada, glad you liked the post. Give my love to Málaga!

  8. Karen November 18, 2016 at 15:43 #

    Oh this does sound good, especially with the ras-el-hanout added to the dish.

  9. chef mimi November 19, 2016 at 15:51 #

    This post is perfect timing because I just bought a pomegranate yesterday. I’m going to open it according to your directions. My previous attempts have been too messy and I end up looking like someone has tried to stab me! Beautiful recipe.

    • Chica Andaluza November 20, 2016 at 15:21 #

      Pomegranates can be very messy and they stain your fingers too…but I think they’re worth it!

      • chef mimi November 20, 2016 at 15:24 #

        Definitely!

  10. My Kitchen Kohl November 22, 2016 at 05:02 #

    Wowee I learnt this way of peeling them just recently too. And I love it. Never doing that banging way in a bowl of water ever again!

    • Chica Andaluza November 22, 2016 at 11:09 #

      It’s not perfect, but it’s the best method I’ve used so far!

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