Iranian pomegranate and walnut chicken called fesenjan is an extremely popular dish and for good reason. It is not considered the national dish but is a close second. It is divine. It's sour notes from the pomegranate molasses is not easily forgotten. This dish is easy to make and you will be a star for doing so. We served it with jeweled rice however white rice is probably more common. It can often times be made with lamb instead of chicken. The combination of flavors truly gives you a taste of Iran. Enjoy!
Iranian Pomegranate and Walnut Chicken (Fesenjan)
- 1 large yellow onion diced
- 3-4 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1.5 cups walnut halves
- 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs cut into bite size pieces
- 2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 2 Tbsp honey
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- pinch each cinnamon nutmeg and black pepper
- 1 cup pomegranate arils and fresh parsley for garnish
- Toast walnuts in a shallow pan over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Once cooled, transfer to a food processor or blender and blend into a fine meal. Set aside.
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot add 1 Tbsp olive oil and onions. Cook until soft, stirring occasionally.
- In a separate pan over medium heat, cook the chicken in a bit of olive oil. Once browned, add it directly to the pot with the onions. Salt chicken while browning.
- Once all the chicken is in the pot, add chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and add pomegranate molasses, honey, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper and walnuts. Simmer for 15-25 minutes or more, until desired thickness is reached. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Serve over rice or with naan. Garnish with pomegranate arils and parsley.