Feb 24, 2009
Persian Chicken and Pomegranate Walnut Sauce
Koresht Fesenjan (Persian chicken in pomegranate walnut sauce)
2 pounds of boneless chicken thighs cut into 2 inch pieces, marinated in sherry
2 large onions, sliced in thin rings
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
2 cups of shelled walnuts- toasted until light brown, and processed until finely ground, but not pulverized
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp.freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
fresh grated nutmeg
big pinch of saffron
1 - 2 Tbsp. olive oil
2/3 cup pomegranate concentrate (*sadaf brand)
sugar or molasses to taste
lime or lemon juice to taste.
3 Tbsp. tomato paste (optional)
Pomegranate seeds and chopped Italian parsley for garnish (this is not a pretty dish)
Fry the onions, garlic, and shallots, turmeric, cinnamon, saffron, and nutmeg in the oil over med/high heat till they are lightly golden.
Add the walnuts, chicken stock, pomegranate juice, and simmer sauce over low heat until thick, about an hour.
Stir frequently because the walnuts have a tendency to settle down and burn at the bottom of the pot.
Take chicken pieces out of sherry and stir into the simmering sauce.
Cook slowly as long as you can. (at least 45 minutes more)
Taste and correct seasonings to taste, adding sugar to sweeten and lime for sour.
When the meat is done, the sauce should be thick.
If it is too thick, thin with water, cranberry juice, or pomegranate juice.
Serve with hot basmati rice.
* You can find pomegranate paste in specialty food stores that carry middle eastern or indian spices. It is usually found in 5 oz. bottles referred to as pomegranate molasses.