There is something so luxurious about crispy, salty, well – seasoned chicken skin. When it’s done well, it’s such a treat! While many people tend to fear eating the skin on chicken, the fat is actually good for you when it’s part of a nutrient dense diet that includes plenty of polyphenols and phytonutrients. The key to enjoying fat is to preserve its structural integrity to prevent it from becoming oxidized when exposed to high heat.
Enter my favorite oil, tea seed oil. Tea seed oil is neutral flavored so it takes on the seasonings of this dish well, and due to its extraordinarily high levels of antioxidants and polyphenols, it can be used for high heat cooking. To get that unforgettable crispy chicken skin, you need high heat and when you use a safe oil that can hold up to high temperatures like my beloved tea seed, you can be sure you are protecting your health while also indulging your taste buds! Enjoy.
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses*
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon sumac (optional)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 pounds boned, skinned chicken thighs and legs
2 tablespoons tea seed oil
1 pound thin carrots, chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
2 bulbs cored fennel, sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped flat leaf parsley
*Found where the kinds of vinegar are shelved in your local grocery store or online
Preheat oven to 400°. In a mixing bowl, whisk together pomegranate molasses, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, and sumac and set aside
Season chicken with salt and pepper.
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat and add oil. When the oil is hot, place chicken skin-side down to sear undisturbed for about 3 – 5 minutes. Turn chicken over and sear the other side, about 3 minutes undisturbed. When each side has nicely browned, remove from heat and set aside.
Add carrots, onions, and fennel to the pot and cook for 5 – 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Layer chicken on top of vegetables and top with molasses mixture.
Transfer to oven and cook until chicken juices run clear and molasses mixture has reduced a bit, about 35 minutes. Serve with parsley garnish.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.