Food the whole family can love….

Every once in a while I come across a great recipe in a cooking magazine-one that is easy to make and looks like something that everyone-even my picky Harrison-will eat. As I am sure you know, passing the “children will eat test” is a high bar and when a recipe succeeds, I think I hear the angels on high singing! It is truly divine when I pass the recipe on to a friend who makes it, her kids love it too and then, she tinkers and improves the recipe! How good is that?! Nothing short of heaven is what I would say!

My good friend Amy G. did just that! We both adore avocados- although I think she is more legitimate in her love of them that I, seeing as she hails from Northern California and grew up with avocados in her backyard. Still, poser that I am, I love a good avocado! Anyway, several weeks ago we were bemoaning the nightly dinner gauntlet and the lack of dinners that would feed both the body and soul of the entire family. I mentioned a recipe that had been a hit for our family- a chicken with a pomegranate and avocado salsa that I had found in Fine Cooking. Amy was intrigued and so I sent it to her. And, then she made it better! Instead of chicken paillards, she used a whole cut up chicken. The skin, marinated, caramelized and provided the dish with a better complexity of flavors. Plus, crispy skin rocks my world! So, I am giving you the recipe Amy’s way. Here’s to friends who make it better!

One note: this recipe calls for pomegranate molasses and pomegranate both of which an easily found in gourmet markets such as Whole Foods and Fairway. The pomegranate can also be found seeded so you don’t have to do the hard work!

Second note: Picky eaters will love the chicken alone- without the salsa. The skin caramelizes as a result of the sugars in the pomegranate molasses make it an easy sell to kids!

Chicken with Avocados and Pomegranate Salsa– adapted from Deborah Madison in Fine Cooking
For the Chicken:
1-4 lbs chicken, cut into eight pieces
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil
2 T. pomegranate molasses
sea salt/ freshly ground pepper

Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, molasses and salt and pepper together. Place chicken in a Ziploc bag and cover with marinade. Marinate chicken for at least 1 hour and up to 24.

For the salsa
1 large lemon
½ c. of pomegranate seeds
3 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 ripe avocados, pitted, peeled and chopped
2 T extra-virgin olive oil
2 T cilantro, chopped
½ diced jalapeno, finely diced
1 t. pomegranate molasses
sea salt

Finely grate the zest from the lemon and squeeze 1 T of juice from the lemon. Place the pomegranate seeds in a bowl and add the lemon juice, zest, scallions, avocado, olive oil, cilantro, jalapeno, molasses and salt. Gently combine with a spatula.

To cook the chicken
Preheat the broiler. Broil the chicken for 8 to 10 minutes a side, or until cooked through. Transfer chicken to a plate and serve with salsa.

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