I’ve still never quite got ‘with it’ in regards to quinoa. I absolutely fell in love with it in Malta, where I tried a little of mum’s dish in a restaurant in the centre of Valletta. Since then, it’s never quite been the same, and I tend to favour bulgur wheat as my grain of choice (I’ve never been a fan of rice, or even pasta, in the first place).
But I’ve been giving it a go, and I think next on my hit list is some quinoa fritters. Any thoughts on those? I think they sound quite nice. I did like this salad, so perhaps I’m coming round to the quinoa way, and my parents loved it. I hope you do too! The chicken is wonderfully sticky from the pomegranate molasses, though I don’t think the flavour comes out very much, and thus the pomegranate seeds scattered on top are the true heroes! They make a lovely pop, like they did in my sea bass dish from last month.
This is a pretty great filling lunch or dinner, and makes enough for roughly 4 servings.
8 chicken thighs, ideally skin-on and bone-in
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 small red chilli, thinly sliced
4 tbsp of pomegranate molasses, divided
200g of red quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
salt and pepper
mixed salad leaves, such as rocket, lambs lettuce, baby spinach, etc, rinsed
walnuts, coarsely chopped
handful of mint, chopped
handful of parsley, chopped
handful of pomegranate seeds, roughly 50g or more
Marinate the chicken thighs with the garlic, chilli, and 3 tablespoons of the pomegranate molasses. Set aside. Heat up the oven to 200 degrees centigrade.
Cook the quinoa according to the packet instructions, and then leave off heat inside the pan to fluff up. Add the remaining pomegranate molasses, a dash of salt and pepper, and a lug of olive oil. Set aside.
Heat up a frying pan with a little oil, and fry the chicken thighs on medium heat to brown them all over, being careful not to let the molasses burn the chicken, about five minutes or so. Remove from the heat, and place on a prepared baking tray. Cook for another 5-10 minutes, or until cooked through.
Serve by mixing the prepared quinoa, the salad leaves, mint and parsley. Top each plate of quinoa with a chicken thigh, and scatter over the walnuts and pomegranate seeds. Top with another teaspoon of pomegranate molasses if desired, and serve immediately.