Drumsticks with pomegranate-cilantro sauce

July 21, 2011  •  Category:


If you are interested in saving some time and still having flavorful meals, why not make some cilantro pesto and freezing it? It will keep very well, for months, and if you make a bunch and fill up an ice-cube plastic tray with it, you can pull it out of the freezer and scoop out one or more cubes each time.

This is what happened here: The drumsticks are cooked almost to completion first and coated the last couple of minutes with frozen cilantro pesto (notice how it even keeps its bright green and pungent garlic flavor). There is an added flavor here, a touch of  pomegranate molasses is diluted in a bit of water or fresh lemon juice and used to dress both the couscous and as an added juice to the chicken.

Pomegranate molasses can be quite tart, so goes easy first; add plenty of extra-virgin olive oil to the couscous and chicken to offset the acidity of the molasses.

INGREDIENTS: 3 servings

  • 1 Package of chicken drumsticks (6)
  • 1/2 Bunch of cilantro
  • 4 Cloves of garlic, mashed in a mortar with a teaspoon of salt
  • 1 Tablespoon of pomegranate molasses (or more)
  • 4 Tablespoons of water or lemon juice
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Salt, pepper, to taste
  • 1 Cup of couscous
  • 1 Small chicken bouillon cube or 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 1 Cup of broccoli or other vegetable
  • 1 Large shallot or 2 scallions, minced


  1. Cook the drumsticks in the oven or on the grill. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, add the cilantro and the mashed garlic and cook for 10 seconds; add the drumsticks and coat them in the pesto. Add 1/2 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses and a tablespoon of water or lemon juice and swirl to coat the drumsticks well. Set aside.
  2. Prepare the couscous by heating some water with the bouillon cube to boiling; add the broccoli and chopped onion and drop the couscous, cover and let it cook 5 minutes  till tender. Add a few tablespoons of olive oil, the pomegranate molasses diluted in a couple of tablespoons of water or lemon juice and some salt and pepper to taste. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with the chicken drumsticks.

NOTE: You can add some of the cilantro pesto to the couscous at the end of cooking for additional flavor.



17 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Bo W says:

    I never think of freezing leftover pesto…I’m sure this is delicious, while I love cilantro…my other half doesn’t.

  2. Sonia Rumzi says:

    I am salivating. Delicious!

  3. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

    The sauce sounds incredible – I’m a huge fan of pomegranate molasses!

  4. Rosa says:

    Yummy! I’m a big fan of pomegranate molasses. So versatile and delicious.



  5. Adelina says:

    I think we were both thinking pomegranate molasses since I also have a post up right now with kebabs and molasses. I do love the cilantro pesto. I feel like I never make enough to be able to freeze. I need to get better at this.

  6. Chiara says:

    I wish I could find cilantro around here… 🙁

  7. Oui, Chef says:

    I’ve heard of this “freeze it in an ice cube tray” trick before, but never done it myself. It makes so much sense, especially because pesto just left in the fridge gets all nasty and oxidized in a hurry. When will I ever learn….maybe now? – S

  8. Caffettiera says:

    The drumsticks look summery and refreshing. Good tip about the pesto, I rarely find fresh cilantro and when I do, I always try to store some.

  9. Tall Clover Farm says:

    Joumana, your recipes always win me over merely on flavor and creativity, but now your presentation is winning me over each time, too. Another great recipe to salivate over and hopefully make real soon. Merci!

  10. domi says:

    Bonsoir Joumana, entre moi et la coriandre c’est une vraie histoire d’amour, j’adore cette fine herbe pleine de goût et qui sait à loisir parfumée tous nos plats….

  11. deana says:

    I love pomegranate molasses. It makes everything taste better if you ask me. Those legs look just too darn good and that it’s a fast meal… how good is that???

  12. Susan says:

    Next year, I’m going to plant cilantro in my garden! I’m not a huge fan but there’s always a recipe that needs some and now that I see this one, I’d love to try it.

  13. Peter says:

    You got sweet, savory, garlic and brightness with the cilantro. As always, drumsticks should be eaten with your hands.

  14. Jamie says:

    All of your recipes are driving me crazy, I want to make them all! Maybe I just absolutely love the Middle Eastern flavors! This chicken dish is perfect with two flavors I adore: cilantro and pomagranite molasses. Bookmarked!

  15. Magic of Spice says:

    What an amazing array of flavor for these drumsticks…wonderful! I just made a fresh batch of cilantro peso earlier, but it does freeze well and perfect for an easy flavor kick 🙂

  16. Nuts about food says:

    Thanks, always looking ofr ways to use my pomegranate molasses.

  17. domi says:

    Voilà des pilons délicieusement ” parfumés “…

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