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It’s pomegranate season! They’re a pain in the ass to take apart and stain anything they touch bright magenta, they can’t be used whole, the seeds are pretty fibrous and they don’t grow in the Northeast! So use pomegranate juice while you’re cooking and save yourself a little hassle. 

When you’re braising a nice, tough, fatty piece of meat like brisket, the natural fruit acids in pomegranate help tenderize it and adds a nice full-bodied fruit flavor. Shred the leftovers and pile on a bun with some tangy pomegranate juice-spiked homemade barbecue sauce for a sandwich you’ve definitely never had before. Oh really? You’ve had a pulled pomegranate brisket and pomegranate barbecue sauce sandwich before?

Poaching chicken breasts is a much better way to keep them moist than baking or frying them in a pan (but if you absolutely have to, here’s how). Poaching just means gently simmering something in liquid, like an egg in water or a pear in red wine. Poaching chicken breasts in pomegranate juice keeps them moist, infuses them with sweet and sour fruit flavor and imparts an exciting pink tinge everyone likes to see in a chicken breast. Shred the results and toss with Greek yogurt and chopped fresh herbs for the most tender and flavorful chicken salad you’ve had in a while.

Making sweet pomegranate mustard is super easy and really enhances the flavor of meat while it’s cooking or on a sandwich, especially if it’s ham. You’ll need 6 tablespoons of brown mustard seeds, 1/2 cup of mustard powder, 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice, a tablespoon of Kosher salt and a drizzle of honey. Crush 2/3 of the mustard seeds in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, then combine those with everything else in a mixing bowl, transfer to a jar and let hang out in the fridge about a week labeled “Dangerous Ham Love.”

You should be done with all three of these applications by the time that other guy finishes taking the seeds out of that pomegranate. Nothing’s more macho than pink fingers.

More fruit for lunch on Food Republic: