Pomegranate chicken with cinnamon pilaf recipe

(11 ratings)

This Persian-inspired pomegranate chicken with cinnamon pilaf is comforting, flavoursome and easy to prepare.

pomegranate chicken with cinnamon pilaf
(Image credit: TI Media Limited)
Preparation Time10 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Nutrition Per PortionRDA
Calories547 Kcal27%
Fat34 g49%
Saturated Fat12 g60%
Carbohydrates17.2 g7%

This Persian-inspired pomegranate chicken with cinnamon pilaf is comforting, flavoursome and easy to prepare.

There is something almost regal about our pomegranate chicken with cinnamon pilaf. Perhaps it’s the pomegranate seeds, which look like little gems and add a burst of flavour in every mouthful. This chicken recipe is easy to prepare and would make a great fakeaway dinner. We think it’s best to serve the dish hot but it is also very tasty cold. Leftovers make a brilliant budget-friendly lunch or you could prep it ahead and serve as part of your barbecue or birthday buffet. We’ve used chicken breast because it’s leaner but chicken thighs are often a lot cheaper and the crispy skin would be delicious with this fluffy rice. If your rice always turns out a little stodgy, read our handy guide for perfect rice every time.


  • 300g basmati rice
  • 400g chicken breast, sliced
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2tsp cinnamon
  • 1tbsp olive oil, plus extra for frying
  • ½tsp saffron threads
  • 25g butter
  • 450ml chicken stock
  • small bunch of mint, torn
  • small bunch of chopped parsley
  • 75g pomegranate seeds
  • 40g pistachios, coarsely chopped




  1. Wash the rice well in a sieve then soak in a bowl of cold water for 1 hr. Toss the chicken pieces in the lemon zest, cinnamon and olive oil. Season, then marinate for 1 hr. Grind the saffron into a powder, then soak in 2tbsp warm water.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the rice, stirring it to coat until glossy. Pour in the saffron water, chicken stock and 1tsp salt. Wrap the lid in a tea towel and place on top. Cook for 10-12 mins.
  3. Fry the chicken in a hot pan with a little oil until cooked through. When the rice is cooked, take the saucepan off the heat and mix through the hot chicken, pouring in any chicken juices. Then stir through the mint, parsley, pomegranate seeds and pistachios. Season and serve.
Top Tip for making Pomegranate chicken with cinnamon pilaf

Although we think this dish is best served hot, leftovers are also very tasty and would make a great addition to your barbecue or party buffet

Elisa Roche
Freelance food writer

Elisa is a chef, food stylist and journalist. She has also been the editorial director of food and drinks content for more than 40 magazines and websites. As well as being host of the brand new Careers Conversations series podcast at Food Matters Live.