Califonia Bountiful
Main Dish

Chicken in pomegranate-almond sauce

"The pomegranate dish" (tabikh habb rumman) was one of the most popular of the 13th century, according to food historian Charles Perry. "This is a very luscious dish, fully worthy of its medieval popularity," he says.

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1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup pomegranate juice
2 tbsp. sugar
Dash cinnamon
1 cooked chicken, roasted or fried
3 to 4 sprigs fresh mint


Grind almonds as finely as you can. Transfer to a saucepan and stir in pomegranate juice with sugar and cinnamon. Add pieces of cooked chicken, cover saucepan and cook over quite low heat, checking regularly, until chicken is warm, about 5 minutes. To serve, garnish with mint sprigs.

Note: Instead of pomegranate juice, you can use 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses diluted with 1/2 cup water. Pomegranate molasses is sold at Middle Eastern markets under names such as dibs rumman or rob-e anar.

Serves 2 to 3

This recipe was adapted from a 13th-century cookbook called "Kitab al-Wuslah ila l-Habib," of which NYU Press published Charles Perry's translation under the title "Scents and Flavors: A Syrian Cookbook" in 2017. Recipe and photo courtesy of Charles Perry.

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