This whole “BEST RECIPE EVER” thing is annoying.
I see it around the internet and I’m like really. Is it? THE BEST? When I see this, I’m tempted to never believe the writer again.
But, here I am. I honestly haven’t really made anything this year, since starting this international culinary challenge, that I wouldn’t 100% make a thousand times again.
This is what happens when you get out of your food rut and try new things. When you give yourself permission to be surprised, you’re rewarded with new tastes and experiences that can be so satisfying.
Which is great, because Fesenjan is not the most…beautiful…looking dish. It’s not an appetizing color and it looks like it’s been slopped out onto a plastic food tray at the school lunch line.
But I need you to hear me, when I say this IS THE BEST GD CHICKEN EVER.
Yea I said it. The.Best.
Feel free to bail now and leave this Fesenjan for the rest of us to polish off.
Pomegranate, walnuts and chicken just sorta simmer together for a while, creating a cacophony (!!) of flavors that is just begging to be spooned over a giant pile of white basmati rice.
Tahdig (crispy rice) is better, but that’s a recipe for another day.
IDK what happens to the chicken inside the pot but it’s crazy tender. And the sauce has so much flavor IDK how it gets there or where it come from but I stopped asking questions after the first bite.
I would be proud AF to serve this Persian feast to friends and family.
You can add pomegranate arils on top if you want some pops of pink (um always) but you know, it’s still brown. It’s okay, just close your eyes and let your taste buds lead the way.
Recipe adapted from Simply Recipes.
Fesenjan (Pomegranate Chicken Stew)
(Start making 2 hours before you want Fesenjan)
Start by turning on your oven to 350F. You’ll toast your walnuts for 6-8 minutes until they are fragrant. Set these aside to cool.
Get 1 Tbsp butter and 2 Tbsp olive oil going on medium-high heat in a large pot. Cut your chicken into 1 – 2 inch chunks, removing any excess fat. You’ll brown these pieces on both sides in your pot with oil. You don’t need to cook these all the way through, just a couple minutes on each side to get some color. You may need to do this in batch. Let the chicken rest on a plate.
Next step – add the remaining butter and olive oil to the empty pot and reduce the heat to medium. Add your onions and cook them for about 6-8 minutes so they get translucent and you get the browned bits off the bottom of the pot. Season with salt.
Add your chicken back to the pot, add your stock and cover. Let this simmer on low for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, finely chop your walnuts with a knife or food processor.
After 30 minutes, add your walnuts, pomegranate molasses, sugar, and spices. Stir to combine and cover the pot. You’ll let this simmer on the stove for an hour or so, stirring every 15-20 minutes. Season with more salt along the way if needed.
You’ll know this is done when your house smells divine and the chicken easily pulls apart. Top with pomegranate arils for a fresh pop and crunch.