Chicken Dinner

Fesenjan, A Persian Chicken Stew With Walnut And Pomegranate Sauce

fesenjan persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce
My husband introduced me to Fesenjan, a Persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce when we just met and I fail in love with it. I started making it shortly after. It took me a couple of years of practice to get it just right. Here I am almost 13 years later, sharing it with my readers.

Fesenjan is a very warm dish that is usually made during the fall and winter seasons. It takes a couple of hours to prepare and has a few steps, but it is all worth it.  It is truly the ultimate comfort food.

I can’t help it, but I do cook the chicken the Moroccan way and I use a lot of onions, almost 2 cups. I cook the onion sauce with chicken until it becomes creamy. That onion sauce gives the fesenjan a unique taste.

I hope you’ll try this recipe and enjoy it! 🙂

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 90 minutes

Ingredients:

2 cups of walnuts
3 + 1/2  cups of water
1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
2 lbs of chicken
1 chopped onion
1 tablespoon of canola oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of saffron threads crumbled
1 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 cup of pomegranate molasses
2-3 tablespoon of sugar

Directions:

fesenjan persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce 1
Ground the walnuts in a food processor until fine.

fesenjan persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce 2
Add the ground walnuts, the 3 cups of water and ground cinnamon to a medium size pot. Cover the pot and cook on low medium heat for 1 hour.

fesenjan persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce 3
In the mean time, saute the onion with the oil in a large pot for 5 minutes, until it’s soften. Add the chicken, salt and pepper, ground ginger, turmeric, saffron and cinnamon stick.

fesenjan persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce 4
Saute the chicken with the onion and the spices for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the chicken every 5 minutes. Add the 1/2 cup of water, cover the pot and cook the chicken for another 20 minutes.

fesenjan persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce 5
Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside, discard of the cinnamon stick. Continue cooking the onion sauce for 5 to minutes until it thickens.

This onion sauce will actually help sweeten the pomegranate sauce later. Oh and try to resist the urge to eat this delicious chicken that is cooked in onions, cinnamon and saffron.

fesenjan persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce 7
Mix the cooked walnut with the onion sauce, add the pomegranate molasses, then gradually add the sugar.
I use 2-3 tablespoon of sugar, but you can use more or less. I usually add 1 tablespoon at the time, cook for a few minutes, taste it then add more if necessary.
At this stage, you don’t want to walk away from the stove. Once you add the sugar, you need to continue stirring to make sure the sauce won’t burn. Also, continue tasting the sauce as you stir until the sauce thickens and has a sweet/sour taste.

fesenjan persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce 8
Once the sauce is ready, add the chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes just until the chicken is heated through and has absorbed some of the sauce.

fesenjan persian chicken stew with walnut and pomegranate sauce 9
Serve Fesenjan hot with steamed rice and plain yogurt.
A lot of times when I have leftover sauce, I like to eat it with plain yogurt. It’s the perfect winter lunch for me.

Fesenjan, A Persian Chicken Stew With Walnut And Pomegranate Sauce
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Loubna El Maziati:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of walnuts
  • 3 + ½ cups of water
  • ⅛ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 lbs of chicken
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of canola oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ teaspoon of saffron threads
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • ¼ cup of pomegranate molasses
  • 2-3 tablespoon of sugar
Directions
  1. Ground the walnuts in a food processor until fine.
  2. Add the ground walnuts, 3 cups of water and ground cinnamon to a medium size pot. Cover the pot and cook on low medium heat for 1 hour.
  3. In the mean time, saute the onion with the oil in a large pot for 5 minutes, until it's soften. Add the chicken, salt and pepper, ground ginger, turmeric, saffron and cinnamon stick.
  4. Saute the chicken with the onion and the spices for 15 to 20 minutes, turning the chicken every 5 minutes. Add the ½ cup of water, cover the pot and cook the chicken for another 20 minutes.
  5. Once the chicken is cooked, remove it from the pot and set it aside, discard of the cinnamon stick. Continue cooking the onion sauce for 5 to minutes until it thickens.
  6. Mix the cooked walnut with the onion sauce, add the pomegranate molasses, then gradually add the sugar.
  7. I use 2-3 tablespoon of sugar, but you can use more or less. I usually add 1 tablespoon at the time, cook for a few minutes, taste it then add more if necessary. (At this stage, you don’t want to walk away from the stove. Once you add the sugar, you need to continue stirring to make sure the sauce won’t burn. Also, continue tasting the sauce as you stir until the sauce thickens and has a sweet/sour taste.)
  8. Once the sauce is ready, add the chicken and cook for 5-10 minutes just until the chicken is heated through and has absorbed some of the sauce.
  9. Serve Fesenjan hot with steamed rice and plain yogurt.

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