The Pomegranate Inspires A Rosh Hashanah Dinner Recipe

Wayne shares Chef Laura Frankel’s Pomegranate Lacquered Chicken

Wayne Johnson

Pomegranates are especially symbolic for the Jewish new year as the fruit, according to tradition, symbolizes righteousness, due to the fact that it supposedly has 613  seeds, and those seeds are attributed to the  613 mitzvot/commandments of the Torah.  Chef Laura Frankel utilizes the pomegranate in her lacquered chicken, a dish perfect for a Rosh Hashanah dinner.

Pomegranate Lacquered Chicken with Barley Pilaf

courtesy of Chef Laura Frankel*

Every chef and home cook has their favorite ingredient that they reach for over and over a gain. For me, it is pomegranate molasses. Pomegranate molasses or paste is the reduced juice of many pomegranates. It is thick and syrupy with a tart sweetness. I find that it makes a great marinade, vinaigrette, BBQ sauce, sorbet flavor and really just about anything! Find a brand that you like. Flavors can vary with each brand. Pomegranate molasses or paste can be found in Middle-eastern grocery stores or on-line. Most pomegranate molasses brands are kosher.

Serves 4-6


For the chicken
2 whole chickens-cut up, on the bone
½ cup pomegranate molasses
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon tomato paste
¼ cup rich chicken stock
2 cloves garlic-minced finely
1 shallot-minced finely
Salt and pepper
Olive oil for sautéing
1 pomegranate seeded
¼ cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

For the barley

3 cups boiling water
1 ½ cups barley
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
½ cup pomegranate seeds
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 350. Place a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add a small amount of olive oil to coat. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown the chicken pieces, being careful not to overload the pan. Place the chicken in oven proof pans separating the white and dark meat.

 Place a small saucepan over medium high heat and lightly coat with olive oil. Sauté the garlic and shallot until browned. Add the pomegranate molasses, sugar, tomato paste and chicken stock. Lower the heat to medium and stir ingredients together until combined and thickened (about 10 minutes).

Brush chicken pieces with pomegranate glaze. Roast chicken until cooked through, about 45 minutes for dark meat and 30-35 minutes for white meat. Re-glaze the chicken during cooking and when it is removed from the oven.

For the barley

Bring the 3 cups of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the barley and cook until the barley is cooked through (about 30 minutes).

Whisk together the lemon juice and olive oil and pour over the warm barley. Add the raisins, fresh herbs and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Serve the chicken over the pilaf and garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped flat leaf parsley.

Laura’s Apple Cake
courtesy of Chef Laura Frankel


3 apples, peeled and sliced thinly
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup sugar
½ cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons oil
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of salt


Place all of the above ingredients in a pan and cook over medium heat until the apples are lightly browned and slightly softened-about 10 minutes.

Line a 9-10 inch sauté pan with parchment paper and spread the apples over the paper.

Preheat oven to 350

1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
½ cup evoo
1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon rum
½ cup apple juice

Whisk the sugar and eggs together. Add the oil slowly until you get an emulsion the consistency of mayonnaise.

Whisk the dry ingredients together. Whisk the wet ingredients together and alternate adding them to the emulsion.

Pour into the pan over the apples and bake for 30 minutes or until the cake springs back when lightly pressed.

Thanks to Chef Laura Frankel, for sharing this tasty recipe.  If you have any questions or comments, please send me an email at or follow me on facebook.

*Laura Frankel is the Executive Chef at Wolfgang Puck Kosher Catering at the Spertus Institute for Jewish studies in Chicago. She is the author of Jewish Cooking for All Seasons (Wiley) and Jewish Slow Cooker Recipes  (Wiley). Frankel is an avid farmer’s market supporter, giving demos and teaching classes all over the country featuring market produce.

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