Khoresht-e-Fesenjoon, a beloved Persian delicacy, is a dish that tantalises the taste buds with its unique combination of flavours. This sumptuous recipe brings together the tender goodness of chicken with the rich, nutty essence of finely ground walnuts, gently enveloped with tangy and sweet pomegranate sauce. With roots deeply embedded in Persian cuisine, this dish is a true testament to the culinary artistry of the region.
The preparation process involves a gradual simmering of ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses, allowing the flavours to meld and develop into a thick, velvety sauce that coats the succulent chicken pieces. This slow-cooking method is the key to achieving the perfect consistency and depth of flavour that makes Khoresht-e-Fesenjoon an irresistible delight.
Whether you’re a seasoned connoisseur of Persian cuisine or a newcomer eager to explore its rich and diverse flavours, Khoresht-e-Fesenjoon with Chicken promises a culinary journey like no other. Served alongside fragrant Persian rice, this dish is a celebration of taste, tradition, and the art of gastronomy.
Basic Ingredients for Chicken Fesenjoon
Chicken: The choice of chicken, whether skinless whole legs or chicken breast, provides a tender and protein-rich base for the dish. It absorbs the flavours of the walnut and pomegranate sauce beautifully.
Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavour of the dish and helps to balance the sweetness of the pomegranate molasses.
Black Pepper: Adds a subtle heat and depth to the dish.
Cardamom Powder: Cardamom’s aromatic and slightly citrusy flavour complements the nutty and sweet elements of the sauce.
Turmeric Powder: Provides a warm colour and a mild earthy flavour.
Ground Saffron: Adds a luxurious aroma and a hint of golden colour to the chicken.
Rose Water: Infuses a delicate floral note that elevates the dish’s aroma and flavour.
Vegetable Oil: Used for sautéing onions and carrots and frying the ground walnuts.
Finely Ground Walnuts: The heart of Fesenjoon, walnuts bring a rich, nutty flavour and a creamy texture to the sauce.
Red Onion: Adds a mild sweetness and depth to the sauce when finely minced and sautéed.
Carrot: Finely grated carrot enhances the sauce’s sweetness and provides a subtle earthy note.
Pomegranate Juice : The primary source of tartness in Fesenjoon, pomegranate juice contributes a vibrant, tangy flavour.
Water: Used to balance the consistency of the sauce and ensure it doesn’t become overly thick.
Pomegranate Molasses: Adds a concentrated pomegranate flavour and a hint of sweetness.
Sugar : Adjust the amount to achieve your desired level of sweetness.
Meat: You can make this dish with other meats like beef, lamb, or duck for a variation in flavour.
Sweeteners: If you prefer a different type of sweetness, you can use honey or date syrup instead of sugar.
Preparation Tips for Chicken Fesenjoon
- Consistent Stirring: Continuously stir the walnut and pomegranate mixture to prevent it from sticking to the pot as it simmers.
- Chicken Seasoning: Ensure the chicken is evenly coated with spices and saffron for balanced flavor.
- Slow Cooking: Take your time when simmering the sauce to allow the flavors to meld and achieve the desired thickness.
- Always keep the Lid off: y leaving the pot uncovered, you allow the liquid in the stew to slowly evaporate. This evaporation process concentrates the flavours, resulting in a richer and more intense taste. The sauce thickens naturally as the liquid reduces, giving Khoresht-e-Fesenjoon its signature depth and complexity.
Serving Tips for Chicken Fesenjoon
- Traditional Pairing: Serve Khoresht-e-Fesenjoon with Persian rice (Chelow) to enjoy the perfect balance of flavours.
- Garnish: Consider garnishing with pomegranate arils or crushed walnuts for added texture and visual appeal.
Refrigeration: Store any leftover Khoresht-e-Fesenjoon in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Freezing: You can freeze portions of this dish for longer storage. Just make sure to thaw and reheat it properly before serving to preserve its flavour and texture.
- 1.5 kg chicken , skinless whole legs or chicken breast
- 2 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp cardamom powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- pinch of ground saffron
- 1 tbsp rose water
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 400 g walnuts, finely ground
- 1 large red onion, finely minced
- 100 g carrots, finely grated
- 4 cups pomegranate juice
- 5 cups water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup pomegranate molasses
- 1-2 tbsp sugar, (adjust according to taste)
- In a large pot, add vegetable oil, onion and carrot; sauté for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the ground walnut and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 4 cups of pomegranate juice, 5 cups of water and salt. Allow the mixture to simmer on medium-low heat for 3-4 hours. Continuously stir to avoid the mixture sticking to the bottom of the pot.
- Once the water has reduced, the oil of the walnut should be visible on the top. Add the pomegranate and sugar; stir and adjust the sweetness by adding more sugar. If you want it to be more sour, add more pomegranate molasses. Allow to simmer for addition 45 to 60 minutes.
- In a large bowl season the chicken pieces with salt, black pepper, cardamom powder, turmeric powder. In a small bowl combine ground saffron and rose water. Add the saffron mixture to the chicken and mix together.
- Heat some oil in a large skillet or frying pan. Add the seasoned chicken pieces in batches and brown them until they are cooked through and have a nice color on all sides. Put back all the chicken in the same pot , add water and simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
- Add the fried chicken pieces to the simmering Fesenjoon. Cook them together on low heat for an additional 20 to 30 minutes, allowing the flavors to meld.
- Serve your Khoresh Fesenjoon with Persian rice. Enjoy your delicious Persian dish!