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Pomegranate Walnut Chicken (Fesenjān)

Chicken legs and thighs are simmered in a rich sauce of toasted walnuts and pomegranate molasses.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Main
Servings: 4
Author: Coco Morante


  • 1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
  • 3 pounds bone-in chicken pieces legs, thighs, or breasts
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup Garlic Gold® Oil or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup pomegranate paste
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils seeds
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley


  • In a food processor, chop the walnuts until finely ground.
  • Liberally salt and pepper the chicken pieces on both sides.
  • In a braising pot or dutch oven, heat the Garlic Gold® Oil or olive oil over medium heat. In two batches, sear the chicken skin side down for five minutes, then flip and sear for another five minutes, until both sides are golden brown. Remove the chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Add the ground walnuts to the pot and stir until toasted and aromatic, about five minutes. Add the onion and sauté another five to ten minutes, until the onion is a bit softened and translucent. Add the cinnamon and stir for one more minute, until aromatic.
  • Add the pomegranate molasses and broth, stirring to bring up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Gently place the chicken pieces back in the pot skin side down, ladling sauce over the top of each one. Bring the liquid up to a simmer, then turn the heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the cover from the pot. Flip the chicken pieces, ladle more sauce over them, and simmer uncovered until chicken is tender and sauce has thickened, about 30 more minutes.
  • Serve the chicken over steamed rice, with pomegranate seeds and parsley sprinkled on top.