Fesenjan Recipe (Chicken, Walnut, Pomegranate Stew Recipe)

For all of you whom are not familiar with this dish, I know what you are thinking. This sounds like an odd combination, this is one of the reasons I am so intrigued by Persian cuisine. The ingredient combinations are interesting and unusual, their flavors are beautifully complex and developed.

Things You Will Need:
Cutting board
Chef’s knife
Food processor
Dutch oven or stock pot
Wooden or plastic spoon
2 forks

Ingredients:
4 chicken or duck legs (boneless, skinless)
3 cups whole walnuts
1 lg onion, small diced
10-12 oz pomegranate molasses
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate juice (optional)
4 Tbs. sugar
4 Tbs. vegetable oil
1 Tbs. flour
1 Tbs. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Using your food processor, grind the walnuts into a fine meal, do this in batches to insure even grinding.  Place your pot over a medium heat and add walnuts. Toast walnuts to a light golden color is achieved. Make sure to stir constantly, it is very easy to burn the nuts. Once the walnuts are nicely toasted, remove them form the pot and reserve.

Add the oil, onion, chicken to the pot, season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium heat for about ten minutes, stirring regularly, add flour to the mix and stir well. Add in enough water to cover half way as well as the fresh pomegranate juice, if you choose to use it. Simmer on low until the chicken is very tender.

Using two forks, shred chicken, add in molassas, sugar, andground walnuts to the pot. Place on the lowest flame and simmer slowly for at least one hour. The Fesengan should have a nice thick consistency after it has simmered. If it is too thin, let it reduce a bit more.

Feel free to adjust the sweetness and tartness to your taste. This dish has a bit room for personal interpritation. If it is too tart, add a bit more sugar. If it is too sweet, add a bit more of the molassas.  The best thing about this dish is that it gets better as it sits. You can make this a day ahead you actually need it.

Khoresht, Main Dish, Serve Over Rice

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