Happy December first guys!!

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice Pilaf | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

And welcome to the best time of year (and the start to twenty-five days of Christmas on ABC family!!). I figured I’d start the busy month with an easy, healthy dinner and one I think you can get pretty much everyone to eat… if you separate the colors of course.

Speaking of everyone, my house is SO full. I mean, Thanksgiving is over, right? Yeah, apparently not around here. All nine Gerards are currently under one roof, which I will not lie, doesn’t normally happen until Christmas. So there is all nine of us, plus four (sometimes five and six) extras. PLUS during the day about ten to twelve extras. My brothers have built this mini snowboard park (@redsbackyard) in the backyard complete with rails and a few massive jumps. Our neighbor plows snow for local businesses so he helped them out and brought over some more snow for the big jump. This in turn has seemed to attract way too many snowboarders to our house. It’s basically a mad house over here and you should be so happy you are not our neighbors!

Pretty sure they hate us by now.

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice Pilaf | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Heck, I sort of hate use right about now, it’s pretty Clark Griswold over here these days.

Complete with people showing up in RV’s. Trust me, you do not want to know.

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice Pilaf | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

So basically, I have been feeding the masses the last couple days and I am wiped clean. Like it’s definitely time for the grocery store and an easy dinner.

I made this chicken the other night, only my recipe was tripled to serve at least twelve. And if you are wondering, no, our table does not seat twelve, so people were squished in. It’s was a tight squeeze (get me outta here…nineteen days and counting until the barn…yes!) you should have seen Thanksgiving…freak show.

On Saturday, I actually had to serve three completely different dinners just to feed everyone. Makes me tired just thinking about it.

And my mom just cannot seem to stop inviting in more and more and more (she can’t help it) people with big appetites. And only one of the people happened to be tiny girls that eat close to nothing, nope, we are talking big guys. Jesh.

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice Pilaf | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Anyway, enough with my venting. Let’s just chat a little about this pomegranate sesame chicken with ginger rice pilaf. Clearly I am obsessed with pomegranates in everything this season. You just wait and see, I have pomegranates coming up at least once a week all of December. I can’t help it, I love them to death.

Also, ginger. I am really getting into cooking, and especially baking, with ginger. Growing up, I don’t remember consuming, or at least being aware of consuming, a whole lot of ginger. This makes me kind of sad because I missed out on ginger all those years. The good new is – I plan to make up for those years all this month. Starting with this dinner.

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice Pilaf | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

The chicken is just so simple, and I love the flavor of pomegranates, soy and sesame together. It’s a favor combo that I think everyone can enjoy because it’s not complex, and in my family, complex is not good.

Of course you can’t do any kind of saucy Asian chicken like this without some rice. Making this a ginger rice pilaf though, I have to say, was one of my better ideas. I love the different textures you get from the orzo pasta and the ginger is of course spot on delicious.

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice Pilaf | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Ok but, I have to ask, what are you crazy family stories. I mean, some of you must have some. My family can’t be the only freak show (and that is putting it nicely) out there.

Any Thanksgiving stories? We didn’t eat till around 7:30 again this year and I totally burnt the stuffing. All of my manner-less brothers ate dinner without even considering a blessing, or even talking about what we were all grateful for. The night did end on a good note though, Asher and I watched Miracle on 34th Street, best way to finish out Thanksgiving!

Can you tell it’s Monday? I am complaining like a maniac today, so sorry, at least I made you a good dinner – or gave you the recipe for a good dinner.

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice Pilaf | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Print

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice Pilaf.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds boneless chicken cut into bite size pieces
  • 4 tablespoon flour use a gluten free blend if needed
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic minced or grated
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste sambal oelek
  • 8 ounces button mushrooms sliced
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • pomegranate arils for serving

Ginger Rice Pilaf

  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup orzo pasta use gluten free if needed
  • 1 cup white or brown basmati or jasmine rice
  • 1 inch piece fresh ginger grated
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken broth or water

Instructions

  1. To make the rice, heat a 10-12 inch sided skillet over medium heat. Add the coconut and orzo pasta. Allow the pasta to get slightly golden and toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and toast the rice another 2 minutes. Add the ginger and cook 30 seconds longer or until the ginger is fragrant. Slowly pour in the chicken broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 20-25 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, make the chicken. Add the diced chicken to a bowl and toss with the flour to coat.
  3. Heat a large wok or skillet over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon sesame oil and sear the chicken in batches until browned on all sides, about 3-4 minutes per batch. Remove the chicken to a plate and carefully wipe the hot skillet or wok clean.
  4. In a glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the toasted sesame oil, pomegranate juice, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic and chili paste.
  5. Heat the wok on high heat and add the remaining 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Add the broccoli and mushrooms, cook for 3-5 minutes or until just lightly charred. Reduce the heat to low and slowly pour in the pomegranate/soy mixture. Slide the chicken back in and bring the sauce to a bubble. Simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and coats the chicken. Remove from the heat and toss with 3 tablespoons sesame seeds.
  6. Divide the rice among plates or bowls. Top with chicken + veggies and then sprinkle with sesame seeds and pomegranate arils. EAT!
*If you like things extra saucy, double the sauce ingredients.

Pomegranate Sesame Chicken with Ginger Rice Pilaf | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Oh my gosh, I am stopping now. Happy Monday. Eat some good food. Have lots of chocolate. Enjoy the season. Bye!