This chicken stew, originally from northern Iran and referred to as Fesenjan, combines tart and earthy flavors in a pleasing way. Rich in walnuts and pomegranates, this meal is a gourmet treasure. An amazing sensation is created by the sultry and sweet dance of pomegranate molasses and the smooth texture of walnuts. Although this stew is usually cooked with duck or chicken and eggplants, it can also include lamb or ground meat.
To ensure consistent cooking and lock in the rich flavors, we use the Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole in this recipe. The hardened enamel coating makes cleaning a pleasure, and the vivid color gives your table a touch of elegance. This is a great weeknight supper option that also works well for dinner gatherings with guests. Serve it over rice.
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Serves 4–6 people; takes 30 minutes to prepare; takes 80 minutes to cook.
- 45 milliliters of olive oil
- Ten thighs of free-range chicken
- To season, use sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- 200 grams of walnuts
- Two chopped brown onions
- three minced garlic cloves
- Five milliliters of ground turmeric
- 5 milliliters of ground cumin
- 1 or 2 quills of cinnamon
- 3 milliliters of grated nutmeg
- One orange
- 500 milliliters of chicken broth
- Pomegranate syrup in 60ml
- 30ml honey
- 1 x 400g can Chickpeas, drained
- 10g paprika
- Pomegranate rubies, to garnish
- Pour some olive oil into a Le Creuset 24cm Signature Round casseroles and preheat it. Give the chicken a liberal amount of salt and pepper. When the casserole is hot, sear the chickens with their skin side down. When the skin gets crispy and brown, flip them over. To prevent the pan from getting too full, sear the chicken in sections. Place aside onto a dish.
- For five to ten minutes, toast the walnuts in an oven set to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. After letting them cool, pulse them in a food processor to make coarse breadcrumbs.
- Turn down the heat to low and add extra olive oil to the same dish. Onions should be sautéed until transparent. For a few more minutes, add the orange peel, garlic, and spices and continue to sauté. When the walnuts are added, mix them in the onions and spices. Bring half of the stock, honey, and pomegranate molasses to a boil. Boil gently for ten minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking to the bottom of the dish. After checking the seasoning, add the chicken pieces.
- While the chicken continues to cook, lower the heat and let the sauce to simmer and gradually reduce. Allow to simmer for twenty minutes. If desired, add extra stock to change the consistency of the sauce.
- After setting the oven to 180°C, roast the chicken for one hour.
- Drained chickpeas should be put on a baking dish, drizzled with olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and paprika while the chicken cooks. For twenty minutes, roast at 200°C/180°C/gas mark 6 or until brown and slightly crisp. Remove the cinnamon stick and orange rind before serving. Add some pomegranate rubies as a garnish and serve the stew over roasted chickpeas.