Recipe for slow cooker pomegranate chicken salad
The hotter it gets, the cooler I stay, thanks to my growing collection of slow cookers. From zero just two years ago, I now own three: a 7-quart behemoth with a nonstick, stovetop-safe insert; a 4-1/2 quart oval that holds a whole chicken, though I've never used it to cook one; and a 3-quart that's getting more everyday use in our two-person household than I ever imagined it would. No matter how hot and sticky the weather gets, I can manage five minutes of prep in my overheated kitchen, and that's all it takes to make this slow cooker pomegranate chicken salad topped with toasted pine nuts and dried cherries. It tastes best at room temperature, which makes it perfect for picnics or entertaining; you can cook the chicken a few days ahead of time, refrigerate, and let it come back to room temperature while you assemble the salad. If you've never cooked with pomegranate molasses, start with this recipe. You'll love how the tangy, slightly sweet and slightly sour taste perks up plain old chicken.
Slow cooker pomegranate chicken salad
From the pantry, you'll need: onion, pomegranate molasses, ginger root, garlic, lemon, brown sugar, pine nuts.
1-3/4 to 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs, trimmed
1 small onion, sliced
2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 Tbsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper
1/4 cup pine nuts
2 romaine lettuce hearts, chopped
1/4 cup unsweetened dried cherries or dried cranberries
In a 3-quart slow cooker, combine the chicken, onion, pomegranate molasses, ginger, garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir everything to distribute the ingredients.
Cover and cook on HIGH for 2.5 hours, or on LOW for 5 hours.
Remove the chicken to a platter and set aside to cool. The liquid in the cooker should be a nice consistency to dress the salad, but if it's too thin, set the cooker to HIGH and cook, uncovered, until the sauce reduces slightly. If the liquid is too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water.
While the chicken is cooling to room temperature, set a dry nonstick frying pan on the stovetop. Over medium heat, toast the pine nuts for 2-3 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, until the nuts are lightly browned. Remove from heat.
To assemble the salad, arrange the lettuce on a platter or in individual serving bowls. Top with a few pieces of chicken, and a sprinkling of nuts and dried cherries or cranberries. Pour some of the sauce over each portion, and serve.
More recipes on The Perfect Pantry:
Fennel, apple and walnut salad with pomegranate-orange dressing
Grilled tamarind chicken
Slow cooker Filipino chicken adobo
Slow cooker hoisin chicken and slaw sandwiches
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Roasted root vegetables with pomegranate molasses and rosemary, from Food Blogga
Chicken wings with pomegranate molasses, from Chicho's Kitchen
Fesenjan: Persian pomegranate walnut chicken stew, from She Simmers
Pomegranate and pistachio chicken, from Not Quite Nigella
Eggplant lentil stew with pomegranate molasses, from Simply Recipes
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Lydia, What brand of small slow cooker do you have? The one that I have is too big for meals for two, and it cooks too hot for meaningful slow cooking. I've been disappointed with it, but unsure what brand to replace it with. Thanks! This recipe looks like something I'll have to try.
Dana, my 3-quart cooker is a CrockPot® brand. It does a great job on small meals.
I have a jar of pomegranate molasses in the pantry begging to be used! Love the sound of this and I like your attitude about staying cool with the slow cooker too.
Kalyn, this recipe uses a small amount of pomegranate molasses, so crack open that jar! It's such an unexpected flavor for slow cooker chicken, and the sauce is a great salad dressing.
All I ever use my slow cooker for is beans and soup. I really need to branch out.
Pam, I started by making big batches of beans (and I still do), but now I'm doing more with chicken and beef, too. Especially in the summer, it really helps keep my kitchen cool enough to make me want to cook.
While I own a slowcooker I don't us it nearly enough. I must put it to better use this summer. Pomegranate molasses sounds delicious. I must give this a try.
Wow I too happen to have a jar of pomegranate molasses! How lucky is that? I love the sweet fruity flavors in savory dishes and this one is a wower! Love it! Can I make it without a slow cooker? Stove or oven?
Donna, please do try this. It's an unusual way to present chicken in a salad, a nice alternative to the grilled chicken we make all summer.
Jamie, absolutely, you can make anything on the stovetop that you can make in a slow cooker. For this dish, you probably will have to add some water or chicken stock, and cook it on the stovetop. The slow cooker retains much more moisture, so there's no added liquid in the recipe.
The color of that chicken is so alluring, Lydia. I have a bottle of pomegranate molasses in my pantry, but simply don't use it often enough.
Cookin' Canuck, the color is fun, isn't it? I'm amazed at how many people have a bottle of pomegranate molasses lurking in the pantry. Time to get it out and try it in this chicken dish!
This is an intriguing recipe!!
Carol, I think you'll like it. It's definitely got a sweet-and-sour, complex flavor, but achieved so easily in the slow cooker.
This must be absolutely delicious!
Loved it, so easy! The hardest part was finding the pomegranate molasses! Thanks for the recipe.
RecipeNewZ, it is!
Andrea, and now that you have the pomegranate molasses, search on this blog (use the search box at the top of the page) for more recipes that call for it. Have fun!
Lydia, this looks wonderful! Ahh I miss salads-it's cold here at the moment and I'm huddled over soups and roasts :) Thank you for the shoutout for my recipe too lovely! :)
Lorraine, my pleasure.
Lydia, I made pom/chicken/ground walnut stew (from Simply Recipes) and loved it so I am eager to try this salad; it looks great. One question though, I see "sear the meat first" on some slow cooker recipes and others (like this) don't mention it. Do you think it makes any difference at all? I've never taken trouble to compare side by side.
Mike, it does make a difference in some dishes, especially with beef or pork. With chicken, it usually doesn't make a difference, as the meat cooks more quickly. In this dish, you don't need to sear the chicken thighs.
This was delicious! I might double the recipe for the dressing next time - I would have liked a little more on the romaine. Plus, I could have eaten the dressing with a spoon - what a great combination of flavors! I made this for my July 4th dinner at our cabin at Tahoe. I thought I was being so organized by using my slow cooker so I wasn't slaving over a hot stove all afternoon. As soon as I got it in the cooker, the electricity went out! I finally had to put it in a roasting pan and cooked it in a gas grill (like an oven). It turned out very well. Can't wait to have it from the slow cooker which should be just a little more moist. Great recipe!