This simple and delicious recipe for pomegranate orange chicken can be made in the slow cooker or in the oven and smells amazing as it cooks! All of the delicious flavors of the holiday come together in one dish!
I have had the opportunity of helping several of the most amazing woman write their life stories and the stories of their family members through the years. I spent time helping write one woman's story of growing up in the orphanage. Back in the 1940's and 1950's many kids spent time in orphanages. Parents who worked and couldn't afford the cost of keeping children at home could place them in orphanages. My friend was one who spent her early childhood in an orphanage. Her single Mom could not afford to feed and keep all her daughters at home. Instead she worked several jobs and paid the orphanage a small fee to care for her children for several years until she could afford to bring them back home.
This woman is an inspiration to me. Instead of being bitter, sad or upset that she spent those years in the orphanage she looks on them as a life learning experience and her heart breaks for the decision that her mother must have been torn to make. She is always positive, loving and caring and has taken me and my family in as her own. She makes gingerbread houses by hand for all of her kids, grandkids and adopted families like mine even though she is now well into her late 70's. She requires help now to make them and one year I was invited to learn the process of gingerbread house making. Even for someone like me who is used to cooking and standing on my feet for long lengths of time I found my back hurting so bad after a couple of days of mixing, rolling dough, baking and assembling over 20 houses so the grandkids could come and decorate them.
While we assembled houses she once again told me the story of her orphanage Christmases. She said it was always a treat for Santa to come to the orphanage and he always handed out stockings full of nuts, oranges and several pieces of candy.
To me Christmas flavors like pomegranate, oranges and walnuts bring together the smell and taste of Christmas.
This simple and easy dinner combines all of those flavors into one simple dish. You can bake it in the oven or toss it in the slow cooker to enjoy the smell of Christmas all day!
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 large orange, zest finely grated, juiced
- 1 cup pomegranate juice
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- Pinch ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- Pinch salt
- ¼ cup diced, smal bites sized pieces red onion
- 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts (optional)
- Pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- Feta cheese for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees if baking in the oven. Lightly grease a baking dish or your slow cooker (if using).
- In the slow cooker or baking dish arrange the chicken pieces. Place the orange zest, pomegranate juice, thyme, cinnamon, pepper, salt and onion. Cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high if baking in the crockpot, or for 40-50 minutes in the oven.
- Remove chicken from oven or slow cooker and place on plates. Garnish with chopped walnuts or pecans, additional pomegranate seeds and feta cheese if desired.
- We love eating our chicken with a spinach salad.
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