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Grilled, Mains, Quick and Easy

Cayenne Cafe chicken with pomegranate-walnut sauce

Cayenne Cafe chicken with pomegranate-walnut sauce
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Dear SOS: There is a neighborhood restaurant on Beverly Boulevard, just west of La Brea, called Cayenne Cafe. An outstanding dish is its grilled chicken with pomegranate-walnut sauce. It is the most delicious sauce -- I could eat it alone. ... Read more

Total time: 30 minutes | Serves 4
  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • Salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, plus more for seasoning the chicken
  • 1/4 cup light olive oil, plus more for brushing the grill
  • 1/4 cup pureed fresh garlic (about 16 cloves)
  • 2 cups chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses, plus additional to taste
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, plus additional to taste
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Step 1Heat a grill over medium-high heat. Slice each chicken breast on the bias into three crosswise pieces. With a mallet, pound each piece between two pieces of plastic wrap to one-fourth-inch thick. Season each piece lightly with salt and pepper. Lightly oil the surface of the grill, and place the chicken on the grill. Grill each piece about 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Remove and set aside in a warm place.

Step 2In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat until warmed. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic just begins to color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Step 3Add the walnuts, pomegranate molasses and brown sugar and stir to combine. If the mixture is too thick, add just enough chicken broth until thin enough to stir.

Step 4Return the pan to medium heat. Heat the mixture, stirring in additional chicken broth just a little at a time, until the mixture has a sauce-like consistency (it will be thick but pourable). The sauce should be dark. The sauce should have a nice balance of sweet and sour flavors, but it can be adjusted with a little extra brown sugar or pomegranate molasses. Pour the sauce over the chicken and serve immediately. Extra sauce can be saved for another use.

Note: Adapted from chef Noura Elnasser at Cayenne Cafe. To toast the walnuts, place them on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven for about 8 minutes, until toasted. The restaurant serves this over rice pilaf.


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