This paleo pomegranate roasted jerk chicken is ideal for those who want a festive holiday main with a bit of a kick. Served with baby potatoes, it’s a complete, one-pot meal. This post is sponsored by Frontier Co-op.
I especially enjoy spicy foods in the winter–I’ll take all the warmth I can get when it’s cold outside. This pomegranate roast chicken is perfect for warming up both your kitchen as it roasts and you when you eat it. If you’re spice-averse, though, don’t worry. You can customize the heat level by adding fewer habanero peppers.
The peppers aren’t the only thing bringing heat to this chicken. Spices like cinnamon, allspice, and smoked paprika also have a warming effect. Peppers and spices are combined with a hint of tart sweetness from pomegranate juice, grassy freshness from the scallions, and the savory fragrance of fresh thyme. All of those flavors come together to create a perfect Jamaican jerk paste that’s equally delicious on chicken and potatoes. Roasting the chicken at high heat for the first few minutes and then reducing the heat for the remainder of the cooking time ensures crispy skin and juicy meat.
I created this recipe in partnership with Frontier Co-op, my favorite source for spices and seasonings. Frontier is encouraging everyone to #CookWithPurpose this holiday season and all year long. I care a lot about where my food comes from and how it’s grown, which is why I get most of my produce and meat from local farms that use sustainable practices. It’s important to me to think just as carefully about where our ingredients come from as we do about which delicious dishes to cook up for our families. With spices, though, it can be trickier to know what goes on to get these essential flavorings from farm to table. It’s impossible for me to source things like cinnamon and allspice locally, so I love being able to turn to Frontier Co-op to be assured that I’m getting spices that were grown sustainably and sourced with fair trade practices.
Frontier’s organic Vietnamese cinnamon has an oil content of at least 5%, which is twice as high as most cinnamons. Frontier provides books, desks, and other materials so that children from the communities that grow their cinnamon can attend school. Frontier also supports a dental clinic in Guatemala for their allspice and cardamom growers to get routine care, and provides funds for meals for children in India. You can read more about their initiatives here.
When I can support a company doing all those good things around the world and get high-quality ingredients at the same time, it’s a win-win. When you smell this chicken roasting with all those aromatic herbs and spices, you’ll feel like you’re winning, too. And despite how much I love the chicken, the real winner here might be the potatoes. They end up glazed with jerk seasoning and chicken drippings, and are irresistibly savory and spicy. I couldn’t resist popping a few in my mouth in the midst of this photo shoot.
What main dish are you planning for this year’s holiday dinner? If you’re still in need of one, I hope you give this pomegranate roasted jerk chicken a try. If you like to be a little more exotic with your poultry, I bet this would also be great with turkey, duck, or even goose!
- ½ cup pomegranate juice
- 1 bunch scallions (about 7), roots trimmed and roughly chopped
- 1-3 habaneros, deseeded and coarsely chopped*
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves (or 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
- 1 tablespoon Frontier Organic Vietnamese Cinnamon
- 2½ teaspoons Frontier Jamaican Allspice
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon Frontier Smoked Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Frontier Cracked Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 tablespoon avocado or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- One (5-pound) chicken, giblets removed
- ½ stick (4 tablespoons) butter
- 1½ pounds baby potatoes
- Pomegranate and lime wedges
- Thyme sprigs
- Bring the pomegranate juice to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce the heat so the juice simmers and let it bubble away for 10-15 minutes, until reduced by about half.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Place the scallions, habaneros, thyme, cinnamon, allspice, cumin, salt, pepper, garlic, and ginger in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Pulse until a thick paste forms. Add the oil, honey, and reduced pomegranate juice and pulse to combine thoroughly.
- Put the chicken in an ovenproof skillet or roasting pan (I use a 10-inch cast iron skillet). Pat the chicken dry and place the butter inside the cavity. Rub the jerk paste all over the chicken, tuck the wings tips under, and tie the legs together.
- Roast for 15 minutes at 450°F, then reduce the heat to 375°F. Remove the pan from the oven. Carefully transfer the chicken to a plate (I use the handle of a wooden spoon inside the cavity to help me move it) and add the potatoes to the pan. Toss to coat them with the drippings in the pan. Place the chicken on top of the potatoes and return the pan to the oven.
- Roast for 15-20 minutes per pound (1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 40 minutes for a 5-pound chicken) or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh measures 165°F.
- Transfer the chicken to a cutting board to rest for 5-10 minutes. Pierce one of the biggest potatoes with a fork. If they're not quite tender, return them to the oven to roast further while the chicken rests. If they're already done, I turn the oven off and leave them in there to stay warm.
- Carve the chicken and serve with the potatoes, garnished with pomegranate, lime, and thyme if desired.
This post is sponsored by Frontier Co-op in partnership with Mambo Sprouts. Thank you so much for supporting the sponsors that keep A Calculated Whisk going!