Fesenjan (Iranian Special Occasion Dish)

Recipe by KerryBnTX
READY IN: 1hr 15mins




  • 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.