Chicken Stew with Walnuts and Pomegranate Sauce
Another family favorite at my house is this delicious Iranian and Turkish Chicken Stew; also known as Fesenjan. The first time I tried this recipe I was blown away. It was so good!! Even my kids gobbled up the sauce and asked for more. The toasted walnuts add such a fantastic flavor to this dish. It does take a bit of time to make but is absolutely worth it.
Chicken Stew with Walnuts & Pomegranate Sauce
- 2 yellow onions, chopped (~3 cups)
- 2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
- 3 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 lb walnut halves (~2 cups)
- 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into medium sized pieces
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 5 Tbsp pomegranate molasses*
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds for garnish (& a beautiful pop of color)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
* If you can't find pomegranate molasses you can make your own. Combine 1 cup pomegranate juice with 2 Tbsp sugar and the juice of 1/2 lemon in a small sauce pan. Simmer, stirring occasionally until it reduces to 5 Tbsp.
Step 1: Toast and grind the walnuts. You can toast the walnuts either in a large skillet on medium-high heat or on a baking sheet at 350F. Once toasted, remove from heat, cool, and then pulse in a food processor or high-powered blender until finely ground.
Step 2: Brown the chicken pieces on all sides. In a large pan, heat 1 Tbsp of the butter and 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium-high heat. Work in batches if necessary to not crowd the pan and cook until golden brown on all sides. Remove chicken from pan and set aside.
Step 3: Saute the onions. Add another 1 Tbsp of butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Lower the heat to medium-low and add onions, saute until translucent.
Step 4: Add chicken and stock. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
Step 5: Add in the ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, and spices. Cover and cook on low heat for 1 hour; stirring every 20 minutes or so to prevent the walnuts from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Garnish with the pomegranate seeds and serve over rice or another grain of your choice.