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I will definitely try your recipe. I think most Iranians make it sweet and sour, use a tasteless oil, use less onions and fry the onions until they are golden in color( but yours is more healthy), and as far as I know they don’t roast the walnuts. But I will roast them next time to see the difference.
Fesenjan is a dish that my mom would make since I was a child. To me this dish reminds me of my childhood. My mother passed away and unfortunately I never learned how she mad it specifically. This is a great recipe but it is a tad sweet. I added more Pomegranate Molasses so that it had more of a tarte flavor to it. Some Persian restaurants make it sweet and some make it tarte so it just depends on your taste buds.
I am certainly no expert on Persian cuisine, but I made this yesterday and it was superb. Because of the eternal conflict within my family between white meat and dark meat lovers I sectioned a whole chicken into 8 pieces for the recipe and proceeded as printed. At the end of the cooking time the chicken was just about falling off the bone (a good thing) but the sauce wasn’t quite as thick as I thought it should be so I removed the chicken to a plate and reduced the sauce for about 7-8 minutes then returned the chicken to warm through. It was perfect, deep brown colour and all. Will be making this again, often.
I’m so glad you liked it Roger! Great idea to cook down the sauce further.
This tasted good, but it didn’t compare to the traditional fesenjoon I had growing up in a Persian household. As some of the other reviewers said, my stew stayed a light brown/beige color instead of turning dark brown (even after following the recipe exactly and cooking it down for an hour).
Hi, Mahrue! It’s possible that the dish needed to cook down a little more. I’m glad you tried it, and I can understand how certain things can never compare to what you ate growing up! But thanks for your comment
It was delicious, easy, and a hit! Thank you for sharing this recipe on an old favorite of mine!
Easy and delicious.
This dish came out so good was a little tart so I added lil more sugar. My clients loved it. Accompanied it with turmeric saffron rice,lentil spinach soup,persian salad, roasted eggplant spread with persian bread they loved it.
Fantastic & yummy! Rather easy to make too!
I have attempted a fesenjan recipe 3X prior to this one. They were not close to what I have eaten and cherished at restaurants…always a disappointment. Made this last night and it was like magic! This is what I’ve been served at the local middle-eastern restaurants (in San Diego, CA area). Super easy/simple recipe too. Fantastic and will be made again and again. Will try cutting the sugar in half next time, just for health reasons.
I did some reading on the pomegranate concoctions prior to cooking this recipe. The other recipes called for pomegranate “syrup” or pomegranate “concentrate”. This recipe uses “molasses” and I think that may be the secret ingredient since it has the tangy/tart taste. This recipe calms that taste some with sugar (but not too much). It’s that tangy’ness that has been missing. It makes the magic. Do try this. I have read this is a “festive” dish used for special events such as weddings.
Pomegranate molasses is one of my most favorite “secret” ingredients in cooking, Middle Eastern/Mediterranean or not! Glad you enjoyed this, Andrew! Thanks for the comment.
The special dish for weddings is called Javaher Polow and I’m busy preparing the ingredients as I write as I have a dinner party tomorrow night. It is literally Jewelled Rice where the colors of the jewels are Pistachio Green, Sultana Yellow, Cranberry Red, Slivered Almonds White and of course fresh pomegranate seeds sprinkled over the top to provide the richness. I also do sugar caramelized zested strips of grapefruit, lemon, orange and lime so there are long threads of crisp sugary/tart goodies to give the whole dish a zing. I have just finished the chicken and can tell you that the pomegranate molasses is the secret. You can order it online through Amazon.
Made this tonight with vegan chicken/vegan chicken broth and it was incredible. The key is definitely cooking for a long time. Used Ichiza chicken (an amazing vegan restaurant in Portland, OR that sells their faux meats) as well as vegan smoked drumsticks on sugarcane bones. I used them the same way you said to use traditional chicken (although I was worried they would get too soft) and it was perfect. Based on some other recipes I saw, I cooked much longer (somewhere between 2-3 hours) and it was very rich and flavorful. Loved it!!
I should also add, the comment about the finished product being light brown; my guess is, you didn’t let it cook down long enough. Every time I make this, I think I’ve done something wrong, because it takes a while for all of the ingredients to blend together, thicken, and look and taste right. Don’t rush it!
I like to add fresh garlic to the onions while they’re sauteing. I also use more molasses than the recipe calls for. I use brown sugar, but less than the recipe calls for, and replace it with chopped dried apricots, golden raisins, and tart dried cherries. Absolutely delicious!
I loved the idea of dried fruits in this–I took your suggestion and it was amazing! Really elevated the flavours. Thank you so much!
I made this dish for some Persian friends and they were so happy and surprised with the flavor that they asked me for the recipe. They said it was exactly like the Fesenjan they used to eat back in Iran …
Recipe as is was ok but needed quite a bit more seasoning, mine was a very light tan color. I added probably another 1/2 tsp cinnamon, another tsp turmeric, 1/2 tsp allspice, 1/4 tsp extra pepper, plus used about 1.5 cups pomegranate arils (vs 1/2 cup) and another tbsp or so of pom molasses. Still didn’t taste as I remembered it as restaurants but with this it came out really nice.
What a fantastic dish! The flavors awaken taste buds with subtle sweet and sour notes. The chicken becomes succulent and juicy when slow-cooked in the tangy stew. Our guests were all delighted.
Whoa! This dish is amazing! It will definitely go into my regular rotation. Delicious!!
Want to make this; some recipes call for butternut squash. Is that better than one without? Also can you make it the day before serving it?
Hi, Ada! I think it really comes down to whether you like butternut squash or not! I think squash would be a great addition to this recipe, but it’s also fantastic without. And yes, I think this dish would do quite well made a day ahead and then reheated. Enjoy!
This was an awesome dish. I cooked it for my woman and she couldn’t stop eating it. This is going to be in my favourite list of recipes!
Joe – Belgium
Can I use red onion ?
Sure! You can easily use red onion in place of the yellow onions.
This is crazy good. Its sweet, then its sour, then nutty and meaty. For me these were really new flavor combos and I loved it! I used chicken breast and it was not dry, just take care to simmer not boil it. I omitted 2 tsp of sugar because I was a worried about it being too sweet which was fine for us. Thank you for this recipe I will definitely make it again.