Khoresht-e Fesenjan Ba Joojeh (Pomegranate Stew with Chicken)
Recipe contributed by Alfreda Yazdi, originally from Iran. Persian cooking is known for its stews, with fesenjan, as this dish is known, being one of its most popular. The brown color doesn’t do justice to the wonderful sweet and sour flavors.
- 5 tablespoons oil, divided
- 2 large onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cubed
- 3 cups shelled walnuts
- 4 cups pomegranate juice
- 4 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (available at Middle Eastern markets)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 teaspoons ground cardamom
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground saffron dissolved in 1 tablespoon water
- 4 pitted dates
- 4 pitted dried plums (prunes)
- 1 fresh pomegranate, seeded
- In a large frying pan, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium heat until very hot. Sauté the onions until they are golden. Remove them from the pan, and set aside. Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan, brown the chicken, and set aside.
- Finely grind the walnuts in a food processor. In a large pot, combine pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses, salt, pepper, turmeric, cardamom, sugar, saffron, dates, plums and ground walnuts. Cover and simmer mixture over low heat for 1 hour. Then add the chicken, and cook for another hour, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent the walnuts from burning.
- The stew should be dark brown and the consistency of heavy cream. It should taste sweet and sour. Adjust to taste by adding more pomegranate molasses for sourness or sugar for sweetness. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little water. When the stew is ready to serve, garnish it with fresh pomegranate seeds.
- Reprinted with permission from Sephardic Heritage Cookbook: Ottoman, Persian, Moroccan, Egyptian Recipes and More by the Sephardic Temple Or Chadash Sisterhood (CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2017).