Traditional Persian Chicken is made with pomegranate seeds, aromatic spices and ground walnuts. This version uses slivered almonds in place of the walnuts and boosts the flavor with the addition of pomegranate syrup, both traditional ingredients in foods eaten during the Jewish holiday Tu B'Shevat, New Year of the Trees. —ohyoucook
medium-sized onions, thinly sliced
ground cardamom (optional)
coarsely ground black pepper
chopped garlic (about 2 cloves)
whole chicken, cut into eighths
seeds from 1 medium pomegranate (about 1 cup), divided
Place a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add oil, wait 10 seconds then add onions. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions soften.
Add cinnamon, cardamom, salt, black pepper and garlic; saute for 30 seconds. Push onions to the sides, then add chicken pieces in a single layer. Brown chicken for 4 minutes each side (chicken will not be cooked through).
Add 1/2 cup of the pomegranate seeds along with 1/4 cup of the chopped almonds around the chicken. Stir pomegranate molasses and honey into the cup of water, then pour over chicken.
Bring to a simmer (which should happen quickly). Reduce heat, cover and continue to simmer until chicken is cooked through (juices run clear when pierced with the tip of a knife).
Remove from heat; stir lemon juice into sauce. Taste and add additional salt and pepper, if needed. Plate chicken over rice. Spoon a little sauce over each serving. Garnish with remaining pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds just before serving.