This is another delicious dish for the fall during this cold, blustery weather. At least we’re no longer iced in. 😀
We had so many pomegranates from our little tree this year It was wonderful. Pomegranates only keep so long so you have to do something so you can enjoy them throughout the year. So, I made pomegranate molasses. Yes, I’m behind on posting and it is another post for a later date. Nonetheless, now that I had pomegranate molasses, it was time to use it and this was the dish I wanted to make. It is absolutely delicious but many of you are unfamiliar with Koresht-e-Fesenjan. What is it you ask? Well, Korescht-e-Fesenjan is a thick, tart stew made with a base of pomegranate molasses and walnuts. There that flavor combination pops up again. It is Persian dish and is considered a special occasion food that is a mainstay of Iranian weddings and other celebrations. It is believed to have originated in Gilan province, a temperate green swath of land along the Caspian Sea in the north of Iran, where wild ducks are plentiful. Not surprisingly, Korsecht-e-Fesenjan was originally made with duck. Nowadays, there are numerous variants on Korescht-e-Fesenjan ranging from chicken, lamb, meatballs, and even quince in lieu of the duck. Some recipes use pistachio, almonds or hazelnuts instead of walnuts. Some more imaginative recipes even call for carrot or eggplant fesenjan. This variation use chicken which is probably the most common way of making Korescht-e-Fesenjan today. It is a wonderful stew that you definitely need to place on your recipes to try list. It’s not overly difficult and well worth the effort. This is what we did.
- 3 cups onions, diced (roughly 2 medium onions)
- 2 Tbps unsalted butter
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
- 2 cups walnut pieces (about 8 oz.)
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
- 2 cups chicken stock (preferably homemade)
- 2 Tbsp plus 2 teaspoons of sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Saffron Rice
- Parsley, chopped for garnish
Spread the walnut pieces out in a single layer in a rimmed baking sheet and toast at 350°F in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
Remove from heat, allow to cool and (when cool) pulse in a food processor or blender until finely ground.
In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of butter
and 2 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat.
When the butter has melted, working in batches, pat the chicken pieces dry, place in the pan, and cook until golden brown on all sides.
Sprinkle the chicken with salt while they are cooking. Inasmuch as you are using salt and sugar, make sure you add the salt NOT the sugar. 😮 If you add the sugar, stop and start over with new butter and oil because the sugar will burn and that’s no bueno. I had to do start over because I got the sugar confused with the salt. Oh well. It’s easy enough to fix. It’s just a little aggravating.
Use a slotted spoon or tongs to remove the chicken from the pan, set aside. Add a tablespoon of butter and a tablespoon of oil to the pan. Lower the heat to medium low. Add chopped onions to the pan and sauté until translucent, stirring on occasion to release the browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
Now, return the chicken pieces to the pan with the onions.
Pour 2 cups of chicken stock over the chicken and onions. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Now, stir in the ground walnuts,
sugar (I got it right this time – if you add the salt instead of sugar at this point you’re screwed),
Cover and cook on very low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 20 minutes or so to prevent the walnuts from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Remove from heat and adjust sugar/salt to taste. At this point the chicken should be fall apart tender.
Spoon saffron rice in middle of the plate.
Ladle stew over the top
Garnish with parsley and pomegranate arils, if you have them (we were out 😮 )
Serve & enjoy. 🙂