Fesenjan (Persian Chicken in Pomegranate-Walnut Sauce)


Source: Shahin Shoar, Main Library (2007)
Prep time: 15 minutesCooking time: 1 1⁄2 hoursTotal time: 1 3⁄4 hours

Ingredients

1⁄4 c
cooking oil
2
onions, chopped
2 1⁄2 lb
chicken pieces (up to 3 lbs.)
2 c
walnuts, finely ground in a food processor
1 t
turmeric powder
1 t
allspice
1 c
chicken stock or water
1 c
pomegranate juice
1 c
whole cranberries
1 T
sugar (up to 3 T.)
 
Salt and pepper, to taste
 
paprika
2 T
fresh lemon juice

Instructions

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, add the onions and sauté until translucent; add the ground walnuts, turmeric powder and allspice and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the stock, pomegranate juice, cranberries, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Lower heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. Season the chicken with paprika, salt and pepper; cover with foil and bake in 325° oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes or until done.

In the meantime, add the lemon juice to the walnut sauce, taste and adjust seasoning. Sauce should have a balanced sweet-sour flavor. Simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes till the sauce is somewhat thickened, coffee colored, and the walnuts begin to give off their oil. Arrange the chicken over the sauce in a deep platter, garnish with pomegranate seeds and serve with plain white rice.