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Persian Chicken Thighs
with cauliflower rice / cucumber and pomegranate salad

Active: 40 min Total: 1 hr
A lemon and spice marinade tenderizes and flavors the chicken that is finished on a sheet pan in this colorful meal.
Smarts: Make a double batch of cauliflower rice tonight and use the leftovers in the filling for Thursday's stuffed acorn squash.


Cauliflower Rice:
  • Cauliflower florets - 12 oz
  • Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Persian Chicken Thighs:
  • Onions, medium - 1/2 , sliced
  • Oil, olive - 1/4 cup
  • Lemon juice - 2 Tbsp
  • Cumin, ground - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric, ground - 1 tsp
  • Salt - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon, ground - 1/4 tsp
  • Chicken thighs, boneless and skinless - 1 lb
  • Foil (opt) - for roasting
Cucumber and Pomegranate Salad:
  • Cucumbers - 1 lb , diced (preferably a seedless variety, like English cucumbers)
  • Mint leaves - 6 , chopped
  • Pomegranate seeds - 1/4 cup (look for these removed from the pomegranate shells in the produce section; sub chopped nuts or skip)
  • Pistachios, shelled - 3/4 cup
  • Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp
  • Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp


  1. Cauliflower rice - (Double if making Thursday’s meal.) Pulse florets in a food processor until broken up into ‘rice’-sized bits. Cook rice in one of two ways: 1) Microwave for 4 to 5 minutes and then fold in ghee. Season with some salt and pepper; or 2) Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add ghee. Saute cauliflower in heated ghee for ~5 minutes, until tender but still crunchy. Season to taste with some salt and pepper. Watch this video for the full how-to on cauliflower rice. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  2. Onions - Slice onions. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
  3. Marinate chicken - (If prepping right before cooking, get oven heating while chicken marinates.) Combine onions, olive oil (portion for chicken), lemon juice (portion for chicken), cumin, turmeric, salt, and ground cinnamon. Add chicken and tenderize with a fork. Marinate for at least 20 minutes and up to 1 day. (Can be done 1 day ahead)
  4. Cucumbers / Mint - Prep as directed. (Can be done 1 day ahead)

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  1. Heat oven to 425F / 218C.
  2. Line a sheet pan with foil (optional, but will make clean up easy) or brush with some cooking oil. Spread chicken and onions out on prepared sheet pan (no need to drain off marinade). Season with some salt and pepper.
  3. Transfer sheet pan with chicken and onions to the oven. Roast until chicken is cooked through, 25 to 35 minutes (depending on size). The chicken is done when it reaches 165F / 74C degrees.
  4. When chicken is nearly done roasting, toss together cucumbers, mint, pomegranate seeds, pistachios, olive oil (portion for salad), and lemon juice (portion for salad). Season with some salt.
  5. If cauliflower rice was made ahead, reheat in the microwave (reserve half if doubled).
  6. Serve chicken and onions over cauliflower rice with salad on the side. Enjoy!



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