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Roast Chicken with Pomegranate Glaze and Rosemary

In this Barbara Kafka favorite, the aromatic bird turns a rich, dark brown and makes a savory gravy that is brightened by the seeds.

5 to 6 stems fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon chopped
5- to 6-pound chicken, excess fat removed, giblets reserved for stock
2 to 3 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
4 whole cloves garlic, unpeeled
Seeds from 1 pomegranate, 1 cup
Juice from 1 large or two small pomegranates, 1/2 cup
1/2 cup chicken stock
Freshly ground black pepper

Place rack on second level from bottom of oven. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Put 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds, garlic and a sprinkle of salt in the cavity. Lay chicken on top of whole rosemary stems in a heavy roasting pan. Pour 1/4 cup pomegranate juice over chicken and scatter 1 tablespoon chopped rosemary over it. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon salt. Roast for 50 minutes. Move chicken once after first 10 minutes with wood spatula to keep it from sticking. If the chicken is browning too fast, reduce heat to 400 degrees and open oven door for a minute to lower the temperature quickly.

Continue roasting at lower temperature. The chicken will be a beautiful mahogany brown. Tilt chicken over pan to drain juices, then remove chicken and rosemary sprigs to platter. Spoon out fat. Place pan over medium high heat. Pour in chicken stock and remaining 1/4 cup pomegranate juice. Bring liquid to a boil, scraping up any browned bits from bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Lower heat, simmer for 1 minute. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add any juices that have collected on the platter. Pour some juice over chicken. Top with a few remaining seeds. Serve rest of juices in a sauceboat with remaining seeds. Serves 4.

Adapted from Barbara Kafka

Thursday, December 06, 2001

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