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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.
OOOPS! I posted that the color was beige..you can remove that! As it cooked- it defintely gained color! Not as dark as the picture- but looks very appealing. And it tastes AMAZING!! Cooked it for a friends- Cannot wait to cook it for me!
My dish is finishing the last phase of cooking right now. It does not look appealing like in the photo.Mine is very beige. I followed the directions exactly…I know that it will taste great- can’t beat the ingredients- but concerned on how it looks as I am cooking it for a friend who lost her son. Any suggestions?
If it is beige, it needs more pomegranate paste. Should be on the darker side. Honestly, I love the taste and make it frequently, but it’s just not the best looking dish around.
Delicious. Toasted walnuts in a toastRoven and used chicken breast. Dark meat would probably stay more moist. Don’t omit the pomegranate arils (seeds) or molasses. Everyone loved it!
I’m so glad you liked it Victoria!
Amazing! Taste just like the one at my favorite Persian restaurant
I have made this quite a few times and it’s a wonderful recipe with unusual flavours. I have it with bulgur wheat and with some parsley on top. I have experimented with blueberry molasses and plum molasses, but I think the pomegranate is the best for this dish. I also have never felt the need to add any sugar to the molasses as it’s sweet enough, but lemon gives it a nice zing.
Just tried this tonight – it’s a real winner. We will be adding this to our regular recipes. We combined it with a bulgar wheat salad and sprinkled chopped mint on top, and served with yoghurt too. Instead of sugar, just put in a tb of date syrup which worked well.Thank you!
My sauce is watery. Will it thicken during the cooking process?
Hi, Hayley! Emma here, managing editor for Simply Recipes. Yes, your sauce should thicken during cooking. Check on it about 15 minutes before the end, and if the sauce still seems a little too thin for your liking, remove the cover and let it simmer uncovered to allow the excess liquid to evaporate.
You can also add another 1/4 cup of ground walnuts if too watery.