The wonderful thing about making a simple meal is that it allows the cook time to focus on one feature. In this case, the sauce.
Pomegranate juice is reduced almost to a syrup and added to chicken jus, that has been cooked separate from the whole bird, and infused with the aromatics: ginger, onions, and shallots. The result is a rich and tangy complex sauce.
Who would have thought that parsnips and pomegranate go so well together?!?!
The sauce is very more-ish. I devoured half a baguette just mopping up the leftovers. Tiny leaves of marjoram add a piquant garnish.
Roasted Chicken, Parsnips & Carrots with Pomegranate Ginger Sauce
1 organic chicken, around 4-5lbs
3 shallots, peeled and sliced thin
1 large nub of ginger, about 5-inches long, peeled and chopped
1 small yellow onion, peeled and sliced thin
1/2 cups chicken stock
1 8-fl ounce bottle of Pomegranate juice (POM Wonderful)
2 parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthwise
4 heirloom carrots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
Salt and pepper
2T cold butter
Preheat oven to 425˚F
Reduce pomegranate juice over medium heat in a small sauce pot to 1/3 cup. It should be thick enough to coat the back of the spoon, but not so thick it resembles molasses. Reserve.
Cut the chicken legs with thighs off the bird to use for the sauce (you can reserve for another use after browning). Leave the breasts and wings on the bone to roast whole. Season breasts gererously with salt. Place in roasting pan and cook until juices run clear. Baste it, baby, baste it! About 20 minutes.
In another roasting pan place root vegetables tossed with olive oil and seasoned with salt. Cook alongside chicken.
In a medium pot sweat ginger, shallots, and onion with 2T of olive oil on medium heat. Add chicken legs and thighs and brown. The more caramelization, the richer the sauce. Seriously, let it get brown and sticky but don't burn! Add chicken stock and scrape up caramelization. Simmer for 5 minutes. Strain. Add to pomegranate juice. Cook sauce down to 1/2 cup.
Cut chicken off the bone and plate with root vegetables. Bring sauce up to a boil and shake 2T of butter off the heat. This will give it a little body and gloss. Drizzle around plate. Add a few leaves of marjoram decoratively on veggies and chicken.
Note to Cook: often canned chicken stock or broth is disgusting and murky. If you don't have time to make your own give Savory Choice Turkey Broth a try. It does have salt, so be careful of adding extra seasoning, but it also has very rich flavor and makes a clear sauce. Whole Foods carries it.