Chicken fessenjoon with rice

16 Jun


Tonight’s dinner comes from Iran – chicken fessenjoon (chicken cooked in a pomegranate-walnut sauce) – served over steamed rice. While I was seeking out dried golden plums at the Persian grocers, I picked up some dried limes as well. I broke a couple up in the mortar before steeping in boiling water to make a delicious  lime tea. This recipe is from the Food 52 website (with minor adjustments).

Chicken fessenjoon
(serves 4-6)

  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 1 cup raw butternut squash, grated
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 10-12 dried golden plums (optional)
  • 8 chicken thigh fillets, boneless and skinless
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 Tb olive oil
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 2-3 Tb brown sugar
  • salt and pepper
  1. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and roast at 350°F for 5-10 minutes or until they start to change color. Allow to cool.
  2. Chop the walnuts to a coarse meal in a food processor.
  3. Put the walnuts, grated squash, dried plums (if using), and water in a heavy pot. Season to taste. Cover and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan with a lid. Add the minced onions and sauté for a few minutes. Roll the chicken thighs and place them seam-side down on the onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10-12 minutes.
  5. Stir the pomegranate molasses to the walnut sauce, then add the brown sugar, a tablespoon at a time, to the desired sweetness.
  6. Remove the chicken thighs from the frying pan onto a plate, and add the caramelized onions to the walnut sauce. Adjust the seasoning then return the chicken pieces to the sauce.
  7. Cover the pot and simmer over medium low heat for about an hour. If necessary, add a couple of spoonfuls of water, but the sauce should be thick. If it seems too thin, remove the lid for the last half hour of cooking.
  8. Serve over steamed basmati rice.

Family score: 7.8 out of 10

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: