I recently had a project that took up some serious time, meaning the thrifty cooking efforts were at risk of falling by the wayside.
But rather than reach for the take out menus, I reached for my stash of frozen goodies. What goodies do I speak of? Well, I'll tell you.
A couple weeks before I'd found my winter-long chicken stock supply had finally been tapped out. To my great good fortune (yes, I do actually get this excited about this stuff), the local supermarket had a good deal on bone-in chicken breasts. I'd poached them with the usual stock subjects (carrot, onion, salt, pepper, parsley), pulling out the chicken when the meat was still tender and pulling it off the bone, then returning the bones to the stockpot to bubble and boil some more.
Which is all to say, I had some frozen cooked chicken. Yay! I had some frozen chicken stock. Double yay!
The aforementioned project included some Persian poetry which got me thinking about my favorite use for pomegranate molasses (another already there pantry item from a cocktail experiment that went, well, wrong.)
This is quick to throw together, kinda healthy (pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants, walnuts with omega-3's), and pretty inexpensive due to buying protein on sale and the occasional but long-lasting pantry investment. Tangy and satisfying, I'll make an authentic version of this someday...but for now, I'm happy with this concoction.
Persian Pomegranate-Walnut Chicken
2 cups (2 breasts) poached chicken (I had frozen mine)
1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
1/4 cup whole walnuts
A olive oil, 1-2 glugs, if the chicken sticks
In a non stick pan toast walnuts and re-heat shredded poached chicken. If you don't have cooked chicken, you could poach 2 breasts or cut them into small pieces first and saute in olive oil. Personally, since this is a 'fudged' recipe already, I like to maintain the texture of the soft, shredded meat as it allows the sauce to reach more chicken nooks and crannies.
Remove the walnuts when they start to smell and are toasted. Mine got a tiny bit of color on them (oops, the risks of multitasking!) and they were fine.
Add the pomegranate molasses and combine thoroughly with the chicken. Turn the heat back so that the chicken simmers in the sauce. Add the walnuts, broken up, back in.
While it's simmering, make some couscous and a green salad.
This is pretty tangy, so if you don't like your proteins candied (if you don't, we can't be friends), add some chicken broth to mellow the molasses.
Chicken on sale turns into ready-to-serve dinner
Pomegranates and walnuts are healthy, Fat-Resistance friendly
This goes so fast you need to start making the salad first
A strong flavor from the pantry saves the day