When I was a kid, pomegranates were only available for a week or two in the fall. We could almost always get one for Rosh Hashanah, and we looked forward to saying the Shehechiyanu blessing over such an exotic, beautiful fruit. Sometimes, if we were lucky, we could find them for Sukkot. The first time I visited Israel, I was amazed to see them growing on shrubby little trees throughout the country, and wished we had such abundant pomegranate stock in the States.
Thanks in large part to California company and major grower POM Wonderful, the majestic fruits are available in the U.S. for a vastly extended season. Still, as winter sets it, I snatch them up whenever I can, sure they'll disappear from the market at any moment. The nice thing about this Baked Pomegranate Chicken recipe is that while the fresh arils (pomegranate seeds) are a nice touch, they're not requisite. Pomegranate juice is the real essential ingredient, and that's available year round in supermarkets all over the country.
Photo © Miri Rotkovitz