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Romania, or Chicken in Almond Pomegranate Sauce
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins

A silky, stew-like chicken dinner from The Medieval Kitchen.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Medieval
Servings: 4 people
  • 1 whole chicken, about 3.5 lbs cut up into parts
  • 2 fresh pomegranates
  • 1 cup unblanched almonds
  • 1 medium-large onion sliced into thin rings
  • 2 ounces fresh pork fatback (I used olive oil)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon strong spice mixture (recipe in notes)
  1. Wash the almonds and dry them thoroughly. When they are completely dry, grind them to a powder in a blender. Remove from the blender jar and set aside (you need not wash the blender before the next step.)

  2. Cut the pomegranates in half and scoop out all their seeds into the blender jar. Puree the seeds and strain; this should yield 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups of juice. Mix the juice and the ground almonds, and add the lemon juice. Press the mixture through a fine strainer; the result will be an almond milk made with pomegranate juice instead of water.

  3. Pat the chicken pieces dry. Sprinkle with salt. Cut the fat into 1/8 inch dice and render it over low heat in a heavy-bottomed casserole.

  4. *Note from Christine* if using olive oil instead of pork fat, add it to the pot over medium-high heat at this point. Use enough to cover the surface generously.

  5. Peel the onion and slice into thin rings. When the fat has rendered, brown the chicken and onion until evenly golden. If excess fat remains in the casserole, spoon most of it out before proceeding.
  6. Add the almond-pomegranate juice and the spices. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down as low as possible and simmer, covered, until the chicken is tender. 30 to 45 minutes.

  7. Check for seasoning and serve.

Recipe Notes

Strong Spice Mixture

1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper, 1/4 cup ground long pepper, 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves, 1 whole nutmeg (grated.)