Winter Spice Mix Chicken

Winter Spice Mix Chicken

When you have a food blog and a couple of cookbooks under your belt, people can start to expect funny things from you. Fancy things. Elaborate things. I get it. If I was invited to a chef’s home for dinner, I might assume that the meal would be a schmancy affair. But neither Laura nor I are chefs (I just snickered even typing that), or even particularly ambitious home cooks. We cook – every damn day – but because we’ve got kids and busy lives, we focus on simple, healthy and delicious recipes rather than setting out to be impressive. Never say never, but I just don’t see us ever sharing a bouillabaisse post that includes sub recipes (grrrr, don’t get me started on sub recipes!), you know?

All of that said, it’s still nice to be able to make something that feels special. Particularly at this time of year. My goal, however, is always special and easy. Not special and why did I think this was a good idea? And never special and kill me now. I was recently invited to the loveliest of special dinners and it inspired me to create this recipe – the epitome of special and easy. On a chilly evening in early December, a group of about 25 bloggers, Instagrammers and Youtubers came together at The Tempered Room. Hosted by The FeedFeed, it was a rare chance to enjoy face time with so many people I’ve admired online. I loved hearing how FeedFeed creators, the lovely Julie and Dan Resnick, started their amazing platform. I’ve watched so many Hot for Food videos that I felt like I knew Lauren Toyota, but in fact we met that night. I got to catch up with the brilliant Devin Connell (are you following her new biz @thisiscrumb on Insta?). Vitamix sponsored the dinner and every delicious bite was created with their own Winter Spice Mix, which you can create yourself. That night we had it incorporated into appetizers, pasta, lamb and dessert.

Made with ginger, pink peppercorns, cinnamon, orange peel and a few other winter-y ingredients, it’s a sweet and spicy blend you’ll love having on hand all season. It’s potent stuff and a little jar of it would make a really great hostess gift. The recipe is over here and is really easy to whip up in a Vitamix. We got to play with these gorgeous new machines, the Ascent Series Blenders and I love how they’re a little wider and shorter than the original. The 3500 model, which I have, has five program settings (smoothies, hot soups, dips & spreads, frozen desserts and self cleaning) and many new features but for me, the dimensions are what make it a winner. I feel like more of your ingredients hit the blades right away, making it even quicker to use.

(More below!)

photo by Ashley Van Der Laan

I used the Winter Spice Mix to transform the world’s easiest sheet pan recipe into something entertaining-worthy. Just a pinch of the seasoning does it. Topping the cooked chicken with cilantro and pomegranate seeds gives it an extra shot of flavour but also gorgeous holiday colours. And it takes about 20 minutes. See? Special. Easy.

Winter Spice Mix Chicken Thighs


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 6 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
  • 1/2 red onion, sliced
  • 1 tsp Winter Spice Mix
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp pomegranate seeds


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly prepare a baking sheet with vegetable oil or a bit of cooking spray.

Place onion slices across the sheet. Next place chicken thighs on top of the onion slice.

Sprinkle Winter Spice Mix over each of the thighs. Top with a pinch of salt and pepper.

Bake the chicken for about 20 minutes until the meat is golden and the onions are beginning to caramelize.

Top with cilantro and pomegranate seeds and serve.

We were given a Vitamix blender in exchange for this post but as always, the opinions in this post are our own.

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