Glazed Pomegranate Chicken Thighs
Glazed with the fall/winter-inspired flavors of sweet and tangy pomegranate seeds, warm spices, and fresh herbs, this is a chicken recipe you’ll want to go back to over and over. The chicken comes out so juicy and totally delicious.
It’s got that perfect combination of sweet and savory, with a bright, fresh, and crunchy topping. The glaze that forms in the bottom of the pan is also incredible.
And, many of the ingredients can probably be found in your pantry!
The chicken thighs are first seared in the pan for that slightly crispy, golden outside, and then finished in the oven for roasted chicken perfection.
Ingredients You’ll Need
To make these pan seared chicken thighs, you’ll need:
- chicken thighs (Make sure to get bone-in, skin-on thighs. Bone-in chicken tends to be juicer, and skin-on chicken is perfect for that pan-seared crisp. Keep in mind that small-to-medium size thighs will cook through faster than large thighs.)
- pomegranate seeds (You can usually find whole pomegranates in grocery stores in the late fall and winter, since that’s when they’re in season. This will be helpful: How to Peel a Pomegranate. If pomegranates aren’t in season, look for pre-packaged fresh pomegranate seeds instead, though they will be more expensive.)
- pomegranate molasses (This is essentially pomegranate juice that’s reduced until it’s the consistency of molasses. It’s syrupy but pretty tart, so I wouldn’t try to substitute regular molasses or honey. I found it easily in Whole Foods near the molasses/honey, and I’ve seen it in most non-specialty grocery stores in the same place or in an international aisle. Here is is on Amazon (affiliate link))
- pomegranate juice
- olive oil
- fresh parsley
- lemon juice
- seasonings (ground cumin, ground coriander, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper)
- cornstarch (this helps thicken the glaze)
How to Make Pan Seared Chicken Thighs
This recipe has four main steps, the full details of which are in the recipe card at the end of the post, but here’s a quick overview!
First, you season and pan sear the chicken thighs in an oven-safe skillet. Next, you whisk together the glaze and pour or brush it over the chicken.
Then, you transfer the skillet into the oven and roast the chicken until cooked through. (This is when the glaze thickens up).
Lastly, while the chicken is baking, you mix together the pomegranate seeds and herb topping.
When the chicken is done, you spoon the topping over the chicken, let it rest for a bit, then serve!
Isn’t it pretty?
Feel free to spoon some extra glaze over the chicken when serving, too. Don’t let that delicious glaze go to waste!
Side Dish Ideas for Chicken Thighs
What to serve with these pan seared chicken thighs? Here are some tasty ideas that would pair well:
- Fluffy white or brown rice
- Miso & Honey Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Baked Buttercup Squash with Goat Cheese
- Healthy Mashed Potatoes with Cauliflower
- “Cheesy” Mushroom Quinoa (vegan)
- Roasted veggies (Maple & Cinnamon or Garlic Herb)
- Sauteed String Beans with Garlic & Lemon
- Kale Caesar Salad with Chickpea Croutons (vegan)
And there you have it: a fancy-looking yet simple chicken dish everyone will love!
You’ll find the full recipe at the bottom of this post. Enjoy!
What’s your favorite way to prepare chicken thighs? Let me know in the comments!
For the chicken & glaze:
- 2 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 6 pieces)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses*
- 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
- 3 cloves garlic, grated or minced
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
For the topping:
- 2/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds (from about 1 medium pomegranate)**
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic, grated or minced
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Place the chicken thighs in a large bowl. Combine the salt, cumin, coriander, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl and sprinkle over the chicken. Massage the spice mixture all over the chicken, making sure to get some under the skin.
- Heat a large oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and place the chicken, skin side down, in the skillet in a single layer.
- Cook for about 5 minutes, until the skin is browned and crispy, then flip and sear the other side for 2-3 minutes, until browned.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the pomegranate molasses, pomegranate juice, garlic, and cornstarch in a medium bowl.
- Pour the sauce into the pan and use a spoon or brush to coat each piece of chicken in sauce.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for 10 minutes. Spoon or brush the slightly thickened sauce over the chicken again.
- Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the sauce is thickened and syrupy and the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- While the chicken is baking, prepare the topping: place all topping ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
- Let the chicken rest for about 5 minutes, then spoon the topping over the chicken and serve.
*Pomegranate molasses is essentially pomegranate juice that's reduced until it's the consistency of molasses. It's syrupy but pretty tart, so I wouldn't try to substitute regular molasses or honey. I found it easily in Whole Foods near the molasses/honey, and I've seen it in most non-specialty grocery stores in the same place or in an international aisle. Or, here it is on Amazon (affiliate link)
**Here's a helpful post: how to peel a pomegranate (and get the seeds out without a mess)