This whole roasted chicken with lemon, rosemary and pomegranate is crispy, sweet and seriously delicious. Perfectly roasted chicken is basted with a rosemary and pomegranate juice reduction that can be described as tart, woodsy and citrusy. Skillet roasted pomegranate spatchcock chicken is a rustic, yet subtly elegant dinner that is very easy to make and will excite the taste buds of whoever has the honor to try it!
One thing that I love about this recipe is how complex the flavors are, and how ‘fancy‘ spatchcocking the chicken looks.
Meals that look complex but are actually easy are my bread and butter.
And in the end, that’s what we all want when it comes to serving guests.
We want it to LOOK like we have mastered complex and intricate cooking techniques, when in reality we just used scissors to cut the back bone out of a chicken like we were cutting wrapping paper!
Why Spatchcock A Chicken?
Considering how easy it actually is to do, spatchcocking has a lot of benefits!
I personally like to remove the entire breast plate using scissors, instead of just breaking it. This makes the carving process SOO much easier.
How To Spatchcock A Chicken
Guys, it’s not hard at ALL! I promise!
- First, lay the chicken on it’s breast, with it’s back facing up. Using a good pair of poultry shears, cut through the cartilage on both sides of the spine, until you have fully cut through each end. Remove the spine, and press the sides of the chicken to open up the cavity.
- Here, you have the option to break the breast bone, or to remove it entirely. I personally like to remove it because I find that it makes the carving process easier. If you choose to just break it, press a knife into the middle of the breast bone. Remove the knife, and using your hands, press down on the sides of the breast plate until it cracks.
- If you choose to remove it like I did, press the knife along the sides of the breast bone. Using the scissors, cut the breast plate OUT of the chicken. Make sure to not cut fully through the chicken! (see images below)
Pomegranate Sauce For Chicken
The sauce absolutely transforms this meal. Pomegranate chicken recipes don’t have to be complicated, and this sauce only uses 5 ingredients!
Pomegranate juice is actually really easy to find at the grocery store. Just pick up a 16 fl oz bottle of Pom Wonderful (not sponsored, I just find it the best and most widely found) at your local grocery store, and that will be enough for this recipe.
How To Make The Pomegranate Sauce:
To make the roast chicken pan sauce, place the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, honey, ginger and rosemary in a sauce pan and let it simmer down for about 15 minutes. It will be slightly syrupy, but not too viscous.
After cooking the chicken for 25 minutes, remove it from the oven and brush the pomegranate sauce all over the skin of the chicken. Pour the rest of the pomegranate sauce for chicken over the top and continue to bake, basting every 10 minutes or so.
What Does This Pomegranate Roasted Spatchcock Chicken Taste Like?
It’s complex, yet rustic with its intricate balance of flavors.
There is nothing subtle about the pomegranate sauce, as the flavors of piquancy, evergreen and citrus can be tasted in every bite.
The crispy spatchcock chicken is cooked perfectly, yielding moist white breast meat. Basting the bird with the roast chicken pan sauce ensures that every single bite will be infused with the pomegranate sauce.
In short, its heavenly. In all honesty, it’s like nothing I have ever tasted before.
What Makes This A Mediterranean Diet Chicken Recipe?
On the Mediterranean diet, if you choose to consume poultry, it is encouraged to be had no more than a few times per week. So when you do make it, you want it to be good!
Pomegranate is often used in Mediterranean countries for it’s health benefits and delicious flavor. It is rich in vitamins C, K and B and contains antioxidants called flavonoids which help fight inflammation in the body.
Herbs are also encouraged when eating the Mediterranean way, and we use plenty of rosemary in this recipe!
I figured I would mention all of that since this is a Mediterranean blog, but even if you are not on the Mediterranean diet, you can absolutely continue to enjoy this delicious chicken dinner!
So you are interested in the Mediterranean diet! I don’t blame you, it’s been voted the ‘Best Overall Diet’ in 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, & 2018 by US News and World Report! Many people enjoying this lifestyle swear by the health benefits. But what is the Mediterranean diet? Let’s dive into some evidence based research …
When To Serve This Whole Chicken Recipe
If you are looking for a recipe that is comforting and cozy, this is it.
Alternatively, if you are looking for a unique chicken recipe, the flavor in the pomegranate chicken is definitely quirky.
Whole roasted chicken recipes also make for a fantastic dinner party dish! As I mentioned, spatchcocking the chicken gives the appearance of a difficult and fancy cooking technique, despite it being so easy to do! And the red-golden roasted color looks magnificent on a dinner platter with pomegranate seeds, lemon and rosemary lining the border.
Pomegranate juice is LOADED with antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in the body and can reduce inflammation. It is being studied for it’s potential ability to prevent prostate cancer and improve memory!
For this recipe, I used a 5.16 pound chicken. This chicken easily fed me and my husband for 2 meals, and cost only $9.98! I don’t know why I don’t cook whole chickens more often!
ALWAYS cook chicken to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. To be honest, I usually cook my chicken a little over, just to be safe. To check the temperature, push a meat thermometer into the meatiest part of the breast. Due to spatchcocking the chicken, make sure you do not push it THROUGH the chicken breast.
There is a method to the madness! We do this to ensure that the skin of the bird does not burn. The sauce contains sugar from the pomegranate and the honey, and sugar has a tendency to burn if cooked for long periods of time or under high temperatures. So to be safe, we cook the chicken for 25 minutes first and THEN add the sauce. Works like a charm.
No, you can definitely skip this part if you are happy with the consistency of the pan sauce. I personally like the sauce more like the consistency of a thin gravy, so I toss it on a burner with some cornstarch to thicken it up a bit. But if you are in a time crunch and are happy with the consistency, you can skip this step.
More Healthy Poultry Recipes
Here are a few more poultry recipes that you might enjoy!
Did you make this recipe? It would mean so much to me if you would rate it below the recipe card and tag me in your creation on Instagram so I can admire your work! @RecipeHippie
Skillet Roasted Pomegranate Spatchcock Chicken
- kitchen shears
- 5 pound whole chicken, giblets removed
- 1 1/3 cups pomegranate juice
- 1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup honey or agave nectar
- 5 large fresh rosemary sprigs for the sauce, plus more for garnish
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp cornstarch
- salt and fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
- Option to garnish with lemon, rosemary and pomegranate seeds
- Pre heat the oven to 400 degrees F.
To Spatchcock The Chicken:
- Place the chicken on a clean surface, with the back facing up. Using kitchen shears, carefully cut the backbone out of the chicken, cutting through the ribs and close to the spine (see images in text). Flip the chicken over.
- Here, you have the option to break the breast bone, or to remove it entirely. I personally like to remove it because I find that it makes the carving process easier. If you choose to just break it, press a knife into the middle of the breast bone. Remove the knife, and using your hands, press down on the sides of the breast plate until it cracks.If you choose to remove it like I did, press the knife along the sides of the breast bone. Using the poultry shears, cut the breast plate OUT of the chicken. Make sure to NOT cut fully through the chicken! (see images in text).
To Make The Pomegranate Roasted Chicken
- Place the chicken flat on an oven safe skillet, with the skin facing up. Melt the butter, and pour it over all of the skin of the chicken. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and some cracked black pepper. Place a few rosemary sprigs around the chicken. Place the chicken in the preheated oven and set a timer for 25 minutes.
- While the chicken is cooking, make the pomegranate sauce. In a sauce pan, add the pomegranate juice, honey, lemon juice, ginger and rosemary sprigs. Bring the sauce to a boil, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally until the sauce has reduced to about 1/2 a cup, about 15-20 minutes.
- After the chicken has cooked for 25 minutes, take the pan out of the oven. Using a brush, brush the sauce all over the skin of the chicken. Once it is all coated, discard the rosemary that was in the sauce and pour the rest of the sauce and its ingredients into the pan.
- Cook for another 45 minutes, basting the chicken with the juices every 10-15 minutes.When the chicken registers 165 degrees at it's thickest part in the breast, transfer it to a cutting board, and let it sit for 5 minutes.
- Place the pan with the pomegranate sauce on a burner over medium-high heat. In a separate bowl, whisk the corn starch with a little water or chicken broth, and add it to the pan. Stir well, and allow the sauce to heat up and thicken. Pour the sauce through a sieve to remove the rosemary and ginger pieces.
- After the chicken has rested for 5 minutes, carve it and serve with the pan sauce. Enjoy!