Creamy Persian Walnut and Pomegranate Chicken Stew


This rich chicken stew is packed with flavour in every bite, perfect to spice up your weekday dinners!

Traditionally known as Fesenjān, this earthy and tangy chicken stew originates from northern Iran where the pomegranate and walnut can be found in abundance. The sweet and sour of the pomegranate molasses blends into the silky texture of the walnuts to create an incredible dish that you won’t soon forget! This stew is usually made using eggplants with chicken or duck, but it can also be made with lamb or ground meat.

For this recipe, we used the Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Casserole as it cooks the stew evenly while sealing in the rich flavours. The vibrant colour adds a pop of colour to your table and once you’re done, cleaning is a breeze thanks to the toughened enamel finish. Serve this fantastic dish with rice, perfect for weekday dinners and great for dinner parties with your friends.


Serves: 4 to 6 persons | Preparation Time: 30 min | Cook time: 80 min

Ingredients:

  • 45ml olive oil
  • 10 free-range chicken thighs
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
  • 200g walnuts
  • 2 brown onions, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5ml ground turmeric
  • 5ml ground cumin
  • 1 – 2 cinnamon quills
  • 3ml grated nutmeg
  • 1 orange
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 60ml pomegranate molasses
  • 30ml honey
  • 1 x 400g can Chickpeas, drained
  • 10g paprika
  • Pomegranate rubies, to garnish

Method:

1. Preheat a Le Creuset 24cm Signature Round Casserole with a drizzle of olive oil. Meanwhile, season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper. Once the casserole is hot enough, sear off the chicken, skin side down, turning them over once the skin is golden and crispy. Sear the chicken in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Remove the chicken and set it aside on a plate.

2. Toast the walnuts in an oven preheated to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark4 for 5 – 10 minutes. Allow them to cool, then blend in a food processor until they resemble coarse breadcrumbs.

3. In the same casserole, add a little more olive oil and turn down the heat to low. Sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic, spices and peel from the orange and sauté for a few more minutes. Add the walnuts and toss to coat in all the spices and onions. Add the pomegranate molasses, honey and half of the stock and bring to a boil, stirring to bring together. Gently boil for 10 minutes, stirring so that it does not catch on the bottom of your casserole dish. Taste for seasoning and add the chicken pieces into the sauce.

4. Turn down the heat and allow the sauce to gently simmer and slightly reduce while the chicken continues to cook. Simmer for 20 minutes. You can add ½ cup to 1 cup more stock if you prefer the sauce to be looser and saucier.

5. Place the chicken in the oven at 180°C and cook for 1 hour.

6. While the chicken is cooking, place the drained chickpeas on a baking tray and drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with the paprika and salt. Roast at 200°C/180°C/gas mark 6 for 20 minutes until golden and slightly crisp. Before serving, remove the orange rind and the cinnamon stick. Serve the stew with the roasted chickpeas. Garnish with pomegranate rubies.

Recipe Source: Le Creuset


Next Read: Pea and Zucchini Soup with Yoghurt & Minted Almond Salsa






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