Lemon and Herb Chicken With Herb and Pomegranate Salad

A mélange of herbs and piquant pomegranate makes this lemony chicken a dish that brightens any holiday gathering. Its warming aromas are the perfect antidote to the chilly winter weather, and ring true to the spicy scents of the holiday season.

TOTAL TIME:2 hours, 45 min.

SERVINGS:6

Ingredients

  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, as needed
  • ¼ cup Champagne vinegar
  • ½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 12 chicken thighs, fat trimmed
  • 4 lemons, 2 thinly sliced, 2 juiced and zested
  • 1 bunch chives, trimmed to 2"
  • 1 bunch thyme, trimmed to 2"
  • 1 bunch rosemary, trimmed to 2"
  • 1 bunch oregano, trimmed to 2"
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. pomegranate syrup
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 2 bunches mint
  • 2 bunches parsley
  • 2 bunches lemon balm
  • 5 Persian cucumbers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 2 pomegranates, seeded
  • TIPS:
  • For a leaner version, substitute chicken breasts for thighs. Prepare the recipe as described, but start checking the chicken breasts' internal temperature 20 minutes after you put them in the oven. Total cooking time should be around 30 minutes.

Directions

  1. Mash the garlic and 2 pinches of kosher salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle. Transfer the garlic paste to a glass jar with lid.

  2. Add the vinegar and ½ cup olive oil to the jar with the paste. Secure the lid and shake vigorously.

  3. Lay the chicken thighs in a shallow dish and pour the marinade over them. Turn the thighs to coat and rub the vinaigrette under the skin.

  4. Season the thighs to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and refrigerate.

  5. Marinate the chicken for 2-24 hours. Turn the chicken over a couple of times while marinating to distribute the vinaigrette evenly. After marinating, take the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

  6. Heat the oven to 425° F. Line the bottom of a second baking dish with sliced lemons. On top of the lemon slices, sprinkle and scatter the chives, thyme, rosemary, oregano and basil in an even layer

  7. Arrange the chicken thighs on top of the herbs and lemons. Place the chicken in the oven and bake until they reach an internal temperature of 165° F, about 40-45 minutes. Take the chicken out of the oven and loosely cover the dish with aluminum foil.

  8. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of olive oil, a pinch of salt, a pinch of sugar, the juice from two lemons and their zest in a mixing bowl. Roughly chop the mint, parsley and lemon balm and transfer it to the mixing bowl.

  9. Add the cucumbers, tomatoes and pomegranate seeds to the herbs. Toss everything to coat with the dressing and transfer to a serving dish. Serve the chicken and salad immediately. Store leftover chicken in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.