Fesenjoon Persian Pomegranate Walnut Chicken recipe

Fesenjoon Persian Pomegranate Walnut Chicken

by @marinaasem
Prep Time
Cook Time
Total Time
3hr 10min

A rich and flavorful chicken dish cooked with ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses, served with steamed rice.


1 Servings
(1 serving = 2 portions)
  • 250g
    walnut halves
  • 2piece
    ice cubes
  • 125mL
    pomegranate molasses
  • 1tbsp
    concentrated tomato purée
  • 1/4tsp
    ground cinnamon
  • 2tbsp
    caster sugar
  • 2tsp
  • 1tsp
    freshly ground black pepper
  • 800g
    chicken thighs, bone-in, skin removed
  • 1piece
    pomegranate seeds, to garnish (optional)
  • 1piece
    steamed rice, to serve

How to make Fesenjoon Persian Pomegranate Walnut Chicken

  1. Grind the walnuts as finely as possible in a food processor until they have the consistency of peanut butter and the walnut crumbs are starting to stick together like a dough.

  2. Transfer the ground walnuts into a large, lidded casserole dish and pour over 1 litre of cold water. Bring the mixture to the boil for 4–5 minutes, then reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering.

  3. Simmer the walnut mixture, half-covered with the casserole lid, for 2 hours, adding the remaining 200ml of cold water and 2 ice cubes after an hour. Stir occasionally throughout to make sure the walnuts don’t stick to the bottom of the casserole.

  4. After 2 hours, the walnut sauce should have thickened and darkened in colour. Stir in the pomegranate molasses, tomato purée, cinnamon, sugar, salt, and pepper until well combined. Return the mixture to a simmer.

  5. Add the chicken thighs, return the mixture to a simmer, then place the lid on the dish and cook gently over a low heat for 1 hour. Remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of cooking to allow the sauce to thicken.

  6. Season to taste with more sugar (for sweet) or pomegranate molasses (for sour). Garnish the dish with a handful of pomegranate seeds, if using, and serve with steamed rice.

Tips & Tricks

  1. Stir occasionally throughout cooking to make sure the walnuts don’t stick to the bottom of the casserole.

  2. Adjust the sweetness or sourness of the dish by adding more sugar or pomegranate molasses to taste.

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