Cocoa-Rubbed Chicken Thighs with Orange-Pomegranate Salsa

Cocoa-Rubbed Chicken Thighs with Orange-Pomegranate Salsa

3 Reviews
From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2017

Make a big batch of the cocoa-infused spice rub in this healthy baked chicken thigh recipe and let it be your weeknight secret weapon. It's also great on salmon, steak and tofu. Serve with brown basmati rice or whole-wheat couscous.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
Nutrition per serving may change if servings are adjusted.
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 large bone-in chicken thighs (about 3 pounds)
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 1 large navel orange
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Position a rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F.
  2. Combine brown sugar, cocoa, coriander, paprika, ¾ teaspoon salt and cayenne in a small bowl. Rub about half of the mixture under the chicken skin, then rub the rest on the skin. Place on a baking sheet. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, combine shallot, vinegar and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Zest the orange. Cut off and discard the peel and white pith; coarsely chop the fruit. Add the zest, chopped orange, pomegranate seeds, parsley and oil to the shallot and stir to combine. Serve with the chicken.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 thigh & ¼ cup salsa
  • Per serving: 406 calories; 24 g fat(6 g sat); 2 g fiber; 15 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 28 mcg folate; 173 mg cholesterol; 11 g sugars; 4 g added sugars; 486 IU vitamin A; 19 mg vitamin C; 37 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 457 mg sodium; 484 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (32% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1

Reviews 3

November 06, 2017
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By: Connie Johnston
Has to be one of the best meals I've ever made. Peeling pomegranate is a hefty chore but otherwise very quick and flavorful. I opted to quickly saute some kale and put the orange pomegranate on top for a warm salad. Added more greens to the meal. Very good!
November 05, 2017
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By: Nancy Teeter
Made this for tonight's dinner with a whole chicken that I butterflied. It was delicious! I made the salsa with just oranges and really good Italian EVOO.
November 04, 2017
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By: aolsen18
Make extra chicken! Don’t waste seasoning, even though it appears to be too much. Great recipe, my family loved it. Hardest/most time consuming part was peeling the pomegranate. Otherwise great for weekdays.
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