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Persian Chicken Stew (Fesenjan) Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
50 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

This Persian Chicken Stew with ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses (also known as Fesenjan) is a delicious meal on a chilly winter evening.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Persian
Keyword: Chicken, Pomegranate Molasses, Walnuts
Servings: 4
Author: Rachel (littlechefbigappetite)
  • 1 cup walnut halves
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs or breasts, trimmed of excess fat, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped (1.5 cups)
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 3 Tablespoons pomegranate molasses*
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils (optional for serving)
  • Brown Rice for serving
  1. Heat a large pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the walnut halves and toast, stirring reguarly for about 8 minutes. Be very careful not to let the walnuts burn. Once lightly browned, remove the walnuts from the pan and place on a plate to cool. Once cool, place in a food processor or blender and grind the walnuts until finely ground (like sand).
  2. Return the pan to medium heat and add 1 Tablespoon of the extra-virgin olive oil. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and brown on all sides. Sprinkle the chicken with salt while it is cooking. Once browned (but NOT cooked through), remove the chicken to a plate.
  3. Add the remaining olive oil to the pan, and then add the onions. Cook until translucent, 8-10 minutes. Stir occasionally to remove the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, then reduce and simmer on very low heat for 15 minutes, covered.
  4. Stir in the ground walnuts, pomegranate molasses, sugar, and spices. Cover again and cook on very low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and adjust sugar/salt to taste.
  5. Serve with brown rice and sprinkle with fresh pomegranate arils.


*You can find pomegranate molasses in most grocery or specialty food stores (Whole Foods definitely carries it), but it's also very easy to make your own. Learn how here.