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This is a 16th century recipe. A friend researched it (I'm hoping she'll stop by here and add some information in the comments on how she found/changed it) because we were reading Dorothy Dunnett's Niccolo Rising novels (set in that time period) and we were curious about what the characters were eating. So we ate this along with #124576, and it was fantastic, if a little time consuming
- 4 chicken breasts (with bone and skin)
- 1 celery rib
- 2 teaspoons thyme
- 2 tablespoons parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon peppercorn (cracked)
- 5 juniper berries, mashed
- 3 cups walnuts (ground)
- 2 lemons, juice of
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup pomegranate juice (I use a brand called P.O.M.)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1⁄2 large onions, finely diced
- 1⁄3 cup sugar
- 2 cups water
- Wash 4 half chicken breasts (with bones and skin) and put them in a good-sized pot. Add celery rib, thyme, parsley sprigs, bay leaf, cracked peppercorns, and juniper berries.
- Barely cover the breasts with cold water, cover the pot, and bring to a gentle simmer (the surface of the water shakes and only a few bubbles break). Hold it there for 20 minutes; turn off the heat; let the breasts rest in the hot water for 10 minutes.
- Transfer chicken to a strainer. Let it rest until cool enough to handle and then cut or pull the meat into bite-sized pieces. Use the skin, bones, and broth to make stock for some other dish.
- Grind six or so handfuls of walnuts fine in a food processor to produce three cups. You want to end up with about three cups.
- Heat 5T unsalted butter in a large, heavy saucepan, and add onions, chopped fine. Cook onions until they are golden, 8 minutes or so. Add ground walnuts and stir constantly (very important) for about five minutes. They will stick if you don't stir.
- Add the lemon juice, salt, cinnamon, sugar, pomegranate juice, and two cups water. Cover pot and let mixture simmer for up to 40 minutes.
- Five minutes before you're ready to serve, add the chicken. Keep the heat low so it doesn't toughen up and cook it only until everything is heated through. Turn off the heat and let it rest if you must. It will stay hot for quite a while.