Fesenjan (Persian-Style Chicken with Walnut, Onion, and Pomegranate Sauce)

4 to 6 servings
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 - to 3-pound chicken, cut into serving pieces
  • 2 onions, sliced thin
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups coarsely ground toasted walnuts
  • 1 pomegranate (about 8 to 10 ounces), halved and squeezed gently to yield enough seeds and juice to measure about 2/3 cup
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsulfured molasses
  • In a large heavy skillet heat the butter over moderately high heat until the foam subsides, in it saute the chicken, patted dry, turning it once, for 15 minutes, or until it is browned on all sides, and transfer it to a plate. Add the onion to the skillet and cook it over moderately low heat, scraping up the brown bits, for 10 minutes, or until it is golden and softened. Stir in the cinnamon and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the walnuts and cook the mixture, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the pomegranate seeds and juice, tomato sauce, broth, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and molasses, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer it for 3 minutes. Add the chicken and any juices that have accumulated on the plate and simmer the mixture, covered, for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

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