Fesenjaan – Chicken in a Pomegranate & Walnut sauce

Ingredients – Serves 4 (2 pieces of chicken each)

  • 8 pieces of skinless chicken – thighs on the bone work best
  • 200g Walnut halves (best quality you can find)
  • 1 large onion finely sliced
  • 125ml Pomegranate Molasses (see notes)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1tsp ground turmeric
  • 500ml Chicken Stock
  • Salt to taste
  • Fresh pomegranate rubies for garnish


Toast walnuts a moderate oven (180C) for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown and fragrant. Once cooled, transfer to a food processor or blender and blend into a fine meal. Set aside. 

Heat a large pot ( a heavy based pot is best) over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp light olive oil. once heated up add the sliced onions. Cook until soft.  Once onions are browned, add your chicken pieces and seal directly in the pot with the onions. Salt chicken while browning.

Add all the other ingredients into a blender to make a creamy coloured sauce.

Once the chicken in sealed on both sides add the sauce to the chicken and stir through.

Simmering away slowly!

Simmer gently for an hour to an hour and 30 minutes, until desired thickness is reached. You may need to leave the lid off for the last 20min to help the sauce reduce to a thick dark chocolate coloured sauce.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Not the prettiest of stews but oh so delicious!
  • Serve this dish with some fluffy Persian “Chello” or Rice, some of my beetroot and yogurt salad and crunchy green or chopped salad for freshness!
The most colourful plate of food!
Pomegranate Molasses

Making pomegranate molasses is easier than you think and I highly recommend making your own.

  • Place 2 litres of Pomegranate juice in a saucepan (fresh is best but you can also make it with carton pomegranate juice) with 200g sugar and 100ml fresh lemon juice.
  • Bring to a boil and simmer gently for 1.15hrs until you have a thick gooey dark syrup. you do need to stir occasionally and take care not to overboil.
  • Once cooled store in glass bottles or jars and it should keep for 2-3 weeks at elast although I have never tested shelf life.
  • Drizzle over chopped salads, add to rich stews or even use in cocktails!