It was great to spend another Culture Kitchen cooking with an amazing guest chef! This November, we spent the evening cooking with Sam who taught us how to make Fesenjoon, a Persian stew that combines the flavor of walnuts and pomegranate molasses to make a delicious sweet and sour flavor. The walnuts release their natural oils throughout the cooking process, adding a deep and rich profile to the dish. This one is definitely a must try! You can find the complete recipe below.
Pomegranate molasses can be a difficult ingredient to find, but if you live in Flagstaff, you can find it sold at My Pita Wrap off of Milton and University. It can also be found in various stores in Phoenix. Other than that, the remaining ingredients are all affordable and accessible! You can even switch out the chicken for a non-meat product, such as mushrooms or tofu, making the dish vegan friendly!
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Culture Kitchen in December!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 cup of ground walnuts
9 oz (250 grams) chicken breast or thighs
4 tbsp sweet pomegranate molasses (or sweetened pomegranate juice)
2 tbsp sour pomegranate molasses (pomegranate juice)
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 medium-sized onion
Rice as a side (recommended)
1. Sauté the ground walnuts in a medium pot on low heat without oil. Stir frequently. Be careful not to burn the walnuts. Once sautéd, slowly add 2 cups of boiling water and cover. Let simmer on low for at least 2 hours, making sure that there is enough water in the pot so that the mixture doesn't burn.
2. When the walnuts are close to being done, sauté the diced onion with a small amount of oil until golden. Add the chicken and salt to liking. Continue cooking the chicken with the onion until the chicken is a little over halfway cooked.
3. Add the chicken and onion to the main pot. Stir to combine.
4. Add the pomegranate molasses to the pot. If you are only using sour molasses, try adding some sugar to balance out the flavor. If you are only using sweet molasses, you could add pomegranate juice to give the dish some sour flavor. It is important to taste the sauce to make sure it is made to your preference.
5. Let cook for about 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the mixture, ensuring that there is enough broth so that the sauce does not caramelize. If the mixture looks like it is too thick or reduced, add water in 1/3 cup increments.
6. After the 30 minutes, try the sauce again and make any desired adjustments.
7. Serve over rice, and garnish with pomegranate seeds (optional).
If you make this dish, let us know what you think!
Feel free to leave a comment or post a picture of your final dish.