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 Not surprisingly, Korsecht-e-Fesenjan was originally made with duck.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. 🙂
24 thoughts on “Chicken with Walnuts and Pomegranate Molasses Stew (Khoresht-e Fesenjan) on Saffron Rice”
What a fascinating recipe ~ but then most Persian ones I have read, tried and cooked are! Well, my pomegranate molasses unfortunately are store bought, but . . . Actually ‘tasting’ the recipe upon reading methinks I’ll try it first with lamb . . . duck is too fatty these days for my ‘conscience’ and perhaps ‘our’ national meat would suit very well indeed 🙂 !
I would imagine this would be wonderful with lamb. Sweet and tart goes well with gamy meats. Lamb shanks may be perfect for these flavors in a nice oven braise to prevent the walnuts from burning or scorching. Let me know what you do and how it turns out. 🙂
Wonderful idea about using shanks in an oven braise . . . shall call out the praise when I cook and share 🙂 !
What wonderful flavors!
Thanks, Rosemary. It is a delightful dish. The arils would have been a bright burst of flavor but I had run out. 😦 Oh well. The homemade pomegranate molasses was really nice. 🙂
Oh my gosh – what incredible sounding flavors!
Thanks, Mimi. They taste as good as they sound. 🙂 You would really like this dish.
A fabulous stew! Is Daniel’s flight on time this week? There is another storm tomorrow where we’ll get a couple of inches.
Thanks, Virginia. We’re hopeful Daniel is able to get out. He is flying out of Portland with a very short layover in Laguardia and is to arrive at 10:30 pm 12/18. Knowing traffic in and around NYC he should arrive at DFW around midnight, assuming he can get out of Portland at all. He already is in somewhat of a sour mood so I doubt he will be Mr. Sunshine if they strand in anywhere before DFW. Keep your fingers crossed, 🙂
Fingers crossed. Also that today’s storm isn’t affecting him though I think it hit NYC. Winter is such a pain!
Nope. He just called and they are getting snowed on thought. He already has 1″ and it’s falling pretty steady and heavy. Oh well, it will be what it will be.
I think it is 3-6″ for NE as a rule. We certainly are getting that.
Richard – This Persian Koresht looks SO good! I want some right now! 🙂 Best -Shanna
Thanks, Shanna. It is wonderful and we ate all of it. Of course Quickstep was over for dinner and he eats for 3 by himself. 😮
I could also eat for three if I was over for dinner. Perfect for a cold night, right? 🙂 Take good care – Shanna
I think I have enough walnuts left from baking to make this recipe…the flavor must be wonderful.
I just wanted to stop back in and wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas. I hope you have a wonderful day.
That looks very very tasty. Thanks too for the education. On the confusing the sugar thing, I recently managed to add the flour to the butter while trying to bake. I had it whipped pretty well when I realised what I had done. Baking is not my greatest strength.
Thanks, Conor. It was very tasty, indeed. We love pomegranates with its sweet tartness and it really makes this dish sing. As for baking, it’s not my thing either and we won’t delve into those stories. 😉
Richard, I wanted to Thank You So Much for pointing out to me that comments were disabled on my blog. I have no idea how that happened. Gremlins! But I have them enabled again. (This dish looks delicous, by the way!)
You are more than welcome, Kathryn. Holiday gremlins are always irritating. 😉 You need to give this dish a try. It is unbelievably flavorful. I’m sure your family will love it. 🙂
Looks delicious Richard! Yum, I am defintiely addicted to Persian food, pomegranates have become a favourite in my kitchen (alongside the molasses, which I love). I’ve never tried this particular dish, I’d definitely love to give it a go as soon as the weather cools down a bit here (it’s currently summer and it’s too hot for slow cooking anything). Thanks for the inspiration!
Thanks, Laura. It is a delicious dish that I will definitely make again. If you like pomegranates, you will love this dish. Lots of flavor. 🙂
Oh, Richard, this was our Iranian Motor Pool driver’s all-time favorite dish. He cooked it for us one time with some wild ducks he and Daddy got hunting outside Teheran. If you like this with chicken, then you MUST try it with duck sometime. Simply delicious with quail or duck.