Northside SF  

The Kitchenless Cook
Pomegranate Chicken
By Bill Knutson

Often my friends will ask where I find my recipes. Sometimes I’ve been inspired by a dish I’ve eaten at a restaurant and then will attempt to recreate it at home from the memory of the flavors; other times I’ll wander the market and let the ingredients speak to me. But most often I find a single ingredient that intrigues me and experiment until I come up with a recipe. That’s how this month’s recipe came about.

Several years ago we did a feature about foods that other cultures use to celebrate the holidays, and I assisted the photographer by shopping for the ingredients she was going to photograph. The Sudanese recipe called for pomegranate molasses. I had never heard of it before or had a clue as to where to find it. But after many days of searching, I came across it at an Indian food store in Berkeley. (One of my favorite ways to spend a lazy afternoon is to browse the aisles of small ethnic food stores.)

After the photo shoot, I brought the molasses home and with little clue as to how I would use it, I relegated it to the back of my pantry to collect dust. Until recently when in a pinch, I substituted it for maple syrup in a barbecue sauce I was preparing. Everyone at dinner that night was thrilled by the new sweet and tart sauce I had just created purely by luck. Of course, I wasn’t letting on that it wasn’t planned, but we’ll keep that our little secret. Pomegranate molasses has now become a staple of my pantry and I use it regularly in sauces and glazes for many of my pork and poultry dishes.


BBQ Pomegranate Chicken
Serves 6

¼    cup pomegranate molasses
¼    cup ketchup
1      tablespoon pomegranate
        balsamic vinegar (plain balsamic will work in a pinch)
1      teaspoon chipotle pepper powder
1      teaspoon white pepper
2      teaspoons salt
2      teaspoons dried lemongrass leaves
12    pieces of chicken

In a bowl, combine molasses, ketchup, vinegar, and chipotle pepper. Stir well and set aside. Combine white pepper, salt and lemongrass and sprinkle over chicken. Grill directly over a medium flame for 20 minutes. Turn over and grill for an additional 10 minutes. Baste with pomegranate sauce and cook an additional 5 minutes. Turn over, baste other side, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Serve and enjoy.

To contact The Kitchenless Cook with questions or comments, e-mail

Browse Column Archives

Bookmark and Share Print Page

September 2011 Issue


Horse Shoe Tavern Amici's East Coast Pizzeria


Alfreds Alfred's Steakhouse

Bobos Bobo's

Franciscan The Franciscan


Getting to know the Reillys June Top Picks

Copyright © 2005 - 2008 NorthSide San Francisco