The slow cooker makes this classic Middle Eastern dish a breeze, mostly because the spices mellow slowly into a sweet, aromatic sauce. The walnuts should be finely chopped into bits smaller than grains of rice, or even ground if you want a somewhat smoother sauce. Serve the chicken over long-grain saffron rice.
Serves 4 to 6
1 1/2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
Freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken thighs, halved
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 cups toasted walnut pieces, very finely chopped or ground
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
Fresh pomegranate seeds, for garnish
Long grain rice, for serving
Mix the sugar, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, allspice, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken and coat evenly. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and continue cooking, stirring almost constantly, for 2 minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned.
Stir in the pomegranate molasses, then scrape the contents of the skillet into a 6-quart slow cooker. Spoon the spiced chicken on top of the cooked onion mixture, scraping any spices that cling to the bowl into the slow cooker.
Cover and cook on low until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 3 1/2 to 5 hours. Season to taste with salt, stir in half of the pomegranate seeds, and garnish with the remainder.
For years hot honey has been used as a condiment on pizza in Brazil. Introduced to the States by Michael Kurtz , he discovered the spicy honey while on a hike in Brazil in 2003. In a small mountain town there, he found a pizzeria that had the concoction on every table. When he got home to Brooklyn, he set about duplicating it. Years down the road, in 2010 Kurtz gets a job at a Brooklyn pizzeria Paulie Gee’s a approached the owner about his sweet concoction, with “Hey, I’ve got something you should try on your pizza.” And so, Mike’s Hot Honey was born and the rest, as the say, was history.
Drizzled on a pizza, hot honey is especially good with salty meats like soppressata or pepperoni, the heat of hot honey isn’t as pronounced and the sweetness of the honey shines through even more.
Today, Mike’s Hot Honey serves retailers and restaurants in the borough of Brooklyn, New York and beyond with Mike’s original recipe, chili pepper-infused hot honey.
For this recipe, I used a dark honey forest honey, which is available at specialty foods stores and from kalustyans.com. I was also able to get my hands on some malagueta peppers from Brazil, but you can also use Fresno, Holland, Vietnamese or Thai chiles to get the same heat effect of Brazillian chile infused honey. Another alternative is to substitute a mix of 2 green thai chiles and 1 habanero to every 3 malaguetas.
And I have discovered that you can also use hot honey as a sauce for fruit desserts. Cooked fruit has a robust flavor that can stand up to hot honey. Just squirting sriracha on everything doesn’t work on all things eaten, but hot honey sure does. Try it on fried chicken, it is to die for!
Bring 2 chiles and honey to a bare simmer in a small saucepan over medium-low heat. Reduce heat to low and let the chiles simmer in the honey for 1 hour to 185°F . to infuse. Taste honey and adjust heat with another chile or 2. Remove from heat and let stand 10 minutes. Strain into s sterilized jar while still warm and cap with a sterilized lid. Store honey chilled in a refrigerator to slow oxidation.
Make Ahead: The hot honey can be made up to 3 months ahead of time. Keep chilled.
For the Tartlets:
Two 17.3-ounce packages frozen puff pastry (4 sheets), thawed
1 egg, beaten to blend
6 ounces soft fresh goat cheese (about 3/4 cup packed)
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
3 medium Gala apples,peeled,quartered,cored, cut into 1/8-inch-thick slices
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup hot honey, divided
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll out each puff pastry sheet on lightly floured surface to 11-inch square. Using 5-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out 4 rounds from each pastry sheet, forming 16 rounds total. Divide 8 pastry rounds between prepared baking sheets; pierce rounds all over with fork. Using 3 1/2-inch-diameter cookie cutter or bowl, cut out smaller rounds from center of remaining 8 rounds (reserve 3 1/2-inch rounds for another use), forming eight 5-inch-diameter rings. Brush outer 1-inch edges of 5-inch rounds on baking sheets with beaten egg; top each with 1 pastry ring. Freeze at least 30 minutes.
MAKE AHEAD: Pastry shells can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep frozen. Do not thaw before continuing.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In a small bowl mix the ground allspice and cinnamon. Set aside.
Mix cheese, lemon juice, and salt in bowl; spread mixture inside rings on frozen pastry rounds. Overlap apple slices atop cheese. Mix butter and 1/4 cup honey in small bowl; brush over apples. Sprinkle with the allspice and cinnamon mixture. Bake until apples are tender and pastry is golden, about 35 minutes. Place tartlets on plates. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the hot honey over each tartlet and serve warm or at room temperature.
Bake the tartlets four to six hours ahead, then store them uncovered at room temperature. Rewarm in a 350°F oven for five to ten minutes. Drizzle tartlets with honey just before serving.