Chicken Fesenjan

Chicken Fesenjan

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From: EatingWell Magazine, September/October 2017

Laced with tangy-sweet pomegranate molasses and fragrant spices, this healthy and delicious Persian stew is traditionally prepared for festive occasions. Here we make it with chicken for a quick and easy dinner but it can also be made with lamb stew meat for special occasions. Serve with brown rice to sop up any extra sauce.

Ingredients 6 servings

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Original recipe yields 6 servings
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  • 1½ cups walnut halves, toasted
  • 6 large skinless, bone-in chicken thighs (2½-3 pounds)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ⅓ cup pomegranate molasses (see Tips)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pomegranate seeds & chopped fresh parsley for garnish (optional)


  • Prep

  • Ready In

  1. Pulse walnuts in a food processor until coarsely ground.
  2. Sprinkle chicken with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook until browned, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove to a plate.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Add onion and water to the pot; cook, stirring and scraping up any browned bits, until the onion is lightly brown and soft, about 5 minutes. Add cinnamon, saffron and cardamom and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the walnuts, broth, pomegranate molasses and honey. Bring to a boil.
  4. Return the chicken to the pot and turn to coat with sauce. Reduce the heat to maintain a simmer. Partially cover and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the chicken to a clean plate; keep warm.
  5. Add lemon juice and the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt to the sauce. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring often, until reduced by about one-third, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve the chicken with the sauce, garnished with pomegranate seeds and parsley, if desired.
  • Tips: Pomegranate molasses is a syrup made from pomegranate juice. Look for it with other Middle Eastern ingredients at well-stocked supermarkets and online.

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 1 chicken thigh & ⅓ cup sauce
  • Per serving: 453 calories; 29 g fat(5 g sat); 2 g fiber; 18 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 37 mcg folate; 96 mg cholesterol; 12 g sugars; 10 g added sugars; 73 IU vitamin A; 3 mg vitamin C; 46 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 395 mg sodium; 385 mg potassium
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1
  • Exchanges: ½ vegetable, ½ other carbohydrate, 4 lean protein, 4 fat

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