Blackened Chicken with Pomegranate-Orange Salsa

Pomegranate is among the more popular, nutritionally rich fruits, with health-promoting characteristics. Often referred to as a “super fruit,” it is a good source of antioxidant vitamin-C and has been found to be effective against prostate cancer, benign prostatic hyperplasia, diabetes and lymphoma.

Blackened Chicken with Pomegranate-Orange Salsa
Serves 4)


• 2 cups pomegranate seeds (about 4 pomegranates)
• 1 cup finely chopped orange sections (about 2 oranges)
• 1/3 cup chopped green onions
• 2 tablespoons minced seeded jalapeño pepper
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 tablespoon paprika
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme
• 3/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
• ¼ teaspoon allspice
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
• 5 teaspoons olive oil, divided

To prepare salsa, combine the first 6 ingredients.

To prepare chicken, combine the first 8 ingredients in a large zip-lock bag. Add chicken to bag; seal and shake well to coat. Let chicken marinate in the bag for 1 hour.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken breast to the pan; cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken breasts. Serve warm with salsa and a side of mixed greens, and season with salt to taste.

Nutritional information: calories: 127; calories from fat: 23%; fat: 3.2g; saturated fat: 0.5g; monounsaturated fat: 1.6g; polyunsaturated fat: 0.7g; protein: 12.4g; carbohydrate: 12.6g; fiber: 1.3g; cholesterol: 86 mg; sodium: 235mg.

Chef Richard Plasencia, executive chef at West Kendall Baptist Hospital, joined Baptist Health South Florida in 2011. He is an award-winning chef who is passionate about creating and sharing fresh local and seasonal recipes seasoned with flavor and good health. In addition to an interest in nutrition, Chef Richard has an extensive history in the hospitality industry.

He served as Chef at Town Kitchen & Bar, Jake’s, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables, the Shore Club, Por Fin, and the Conrad Hotel. He also was part of several teams that received the Mobile 4 and 5 star awards, as well as Cioppino being named to America’s Top 50 restaurants by Esquire Magazine 2005, during his time at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne. Chef Richard Plasencia graduated from Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelor of Science in culinary arts.

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