Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pomegranate Chicken

Today for something a little different on this blog that I haven't done before. Khoresht-e fesenjān is chicken in a thick stew of pomegranate sauce and ground walnuts.

The ancient custom of combining meat with fruit occurs most notably in the cooking of Armenia, Georgia, Morocco, and Iran. This traditional Iranian khoresht originated in the province of Gilan, on the shores of the Caspian Sea, its swamps the nesting place of delicious wild ducks. It is often served at Ramadan with the buttered rice dish chelou.

The recipe below is modified from Persian recipe by using the Pomegranate Sauce Recipe by Anne Gracie and my additions.

1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large red or yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cup POM 100% Pomegranate Juice
1 tsp salt
water, as needed
1 cup Greek yogurt
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 Tbsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 tsp saffron
1 1/2 Tbsp molasses
2 cups walnuts, finely chopped or pulverized
1 yukon gold potato, finely chopped
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts OR skinless chicken thighs

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Fry onions & garlic until soft. Add all ingredients, except chicken, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add chicken. Turn heat to med-low. Cover and cook for 40-60 minutes, until chicken is falling to pieces.

For Persian recipes with a more authentic flavor, visit Iran Mania.

"Buy the pomegranate when it laughs—
its laughter reveals the secret of its seeds.
The garden answers the laughing pomegranate with bloom;
In companionship with the friends of God
you will bloom as they do."



Nicola Cornick said...

Oooh, can't wait to try this! I have a wonderful lamb and pomegranite recipe that is really rich and exotic in flavour. Feeling a bit hungry now...

Keira Soleore said...

Do share, Nicola. Do.

Nicola Cornick said...

Here it is. I think it was a Nigella Lawson recipe. It was very tasty - as soon as I mentioned it to my dh he wanted to have it for supper!


3-4 tbsp goose fat or olive oil
2 onions, peeled and chopped
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground allspice
1kg/2lb 3oz boneless leg of lamb, chopped into cubes
250g/9oz soft dried dates, stones removed, or Medjool dates, stones removed
250ml/9fl oz pomegranate juice
250ml/9fl oz water
2 tsp Maldon sea salt, or 1 tsp table salt

1. Warm the goose fat (or oil) in a wide heavy-based pan with a lid. Add the onions and cook gently over a low heat for ten minutes, or until softened.
2. Add the ground cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, cumin and allspice and mix well.
3. Turn up the heat and add the lamb, stirring often, until browned all over.
4. Add the dates, pomegranate juice, water and salt and bring to the boil. Cover with the lid and turn down the heat to very low to cook for two hours. (You can cook in the oven if you prefer, for two hours at 150C/300F/Gas 2.)
5. Serve in bowls.

Keira Soleore said...

With dates, Nicola. OMG!! We buy Medjool as a regular fruit; our family's a fan of them. This recipe's going to be very popular. Thanks a ton!

Nicola Cornick said...

Excellent! Enjoy!