I love pomegranates particularly because they are seasonal so I can only find them in the autumn. Whenever I see a pomegranate I’m inspired to cook this dish. In Devon I would cook it with pheasant which is the traditional Persian recipe but chicken works out pretty good.
Pomegranate molasses has an amazing sweet/sour/tanginess but is often difficult to find. When I can’t get it I use a good Seville marmalade instead which has something like the sour flavour but is much sweeter so I skip the sugar and add a teaspoon of lemon juice. I mixed about three good tablespoons of marmalade with a dash of hot water to soften it and sieved it to remove the orange bits! Not as good but what to do, lah?
Persian Chicken Stew with Walnuts and Pomegranate
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 slugs of olive oil
- 2 knobs of butter
- 3 tbspn pomegranate molasses
- 2 tbspn sugar
- 1 cup walnut halves, toasted and finely ground
- 8 chicken thighs (2 per person)
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/2 tspn turmeric
- 1/4 tspn cinnamon
- 1/4 tspn ground nutmeg
- 2 tbspn pomegranate seeds
- 1 tbspn chopped parsley
- Sprinkle the chicken pieces with salt and brown them in olive oil with a knob of butter.
- Remove the chicken from the pan, add a bit more oil and butter and sauté the onions.
- Return the chicken pieces to the pan and add the chicken stock. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes.
- Stir in the pomegranate molasses and sugar (or marmalade and lemon juice!), ground walnuts and spices and a grind of black pepper. Cover and cook on very low heat for 45 mins. Stir the pot every so often to prevent the walnuts from sticking.
- Remove from heat, adjust the seasoning and add a little more water if the sauce is too thick.
- Garnish with pomegranate seeds and chopped parsley.