Fesenjoon (Persian Pomegranate Walnut Stew)
Fesenjoon or Fesenjan is one of the popular and fantastic Persian stews. It is a thick and rich stew made from pomegranate paste and ground walnuts. It is traditionally made with duck and depending on your taste, it can be sweet or sour.
Yield: Serves 4-5
- 750 g boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 2 1/2 inches pieces
- 1 cup pomegranate paste or concentrated pomegranate, add more or less, depends on your taste (you can find it at any Iranian store)
- 3 cups (about 300 g) walnuts, finely chopped
- 4-5 tablespoons sugar (add more or less, depends on your taste)
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 5 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 cups water
- salt & pepper to taste
Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a small pan over medium heat. Add walnuts and saute for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently (don't burn it). Add the pomegranate paste and saute for 3 more minutes, stirring frequently. Set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until tender (about 5-6 minutes). Increase the heat to medium-high; add chicken and saute until no longer pink.
Then add turmeric powder, water, salt and pepper. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for 5 minutes. Then add the pomegranate-walnut mixture; combine well.
Cover the pot and simmer over medium-low heat until the stew is thickened and the natural oil is released from walnuts (about 2 hours or more), stirring occasionally (it is ok if chicken starts to fall apart). Add more COLD water during cooking if necessary.
Once the stew color is dark brown, add sugar and cook for 15 more minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with Persian Rice.
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