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I had this marvelous dish in a Mediterranean Cafe. The fragrance is wonderful and the taste sublime. There has been quite a bit of discussion on this recipe. I would like to clarify that I have had this dish only twice at one restaurant and that I have never actually made the dish. I enjoyed it so much I searched and found this recipe online, it is not original by me. I do not find the one star review helpful. That it doesn't taste like grandma's does not mean it is a bad recipe. As for the use of Garlic, I know nothing of regional Iranian dishes, but I love garlic in most anything!
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 2 small onions, sliced thin
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 1⁄2 cups walnuts, finely ground
- 2⁄3 cup pomegranate syrup
- 2 1⁄2 cups stock or 2 1⁄2 cups water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 teaspoons pepper
- 1 1⁄4 teaspoons saffron (optional)
- 2 limes, juice of
- 2 1⁄2-3 lbs bone-in poultry, of choice
- Heat butter or oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.
- Add onions and sauté until wilted and translucent.
- Add garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg and sauté, stirring, for another 1-2 minutes.
- Stir in walnuts, pomegranate syrup, stock, sugar, salt, pepper and saffron.
- Adjust sugar and salt to taste.
- Bring to a low boil and simmer 1/2 hour.
- Add chicken and simmer on low heat another 30-60 minutes.
- Halfway through the cooking time, add the lime juice to taste.
- The sauce will thicken and darken during this cooking time, and the oil will begin to render out of the walnuts.
- Add water or stock if necessary to prevent the sauce from thickening too much and scorching.
- Serve with plain white rice.
- NOTES Fesenjan is special occasion food in Iran.
- It is traditionally made with duck or pheasant in the north of the country along the Caspian sea.
- It is a thick, rich, sweet-sour dish that improves in flavor the next day.
- Pomegranate syrup is available in most Middle Eastern and health food stores.
- If it is unavailable, you can use an equal amount of frozen, concentrated cranberry juice.
- The flavor is roughly the same.
- You can use a whole bone-in chicken if you like.
- Cut it into 8 serving pieces and remove most of the skin.
- The bones will give the dish a richer flavor.