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Quick Cooking Fesenjan (Persian Pomegranate Chicken)


Fesenjan is a traditional Persian chicken stew made with pomegranate juice and pomegrantate seeds. 

Make your own pomegranate molasses 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 6Servings



  • 4 cups red rice
  • 8½ cups vegetable stock 
  • Pinch saffron threads 


  • Cubed white meat chicken (6 breasts) 
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cornstarch 
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced or sliced
  • 2 cloves Garlic 
  • 2 large handfuls walnuts, toasted and ground
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar 
  • 6 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 5 tablespoons pomegranate molasses/or 1 cup juice reduced 
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate paste (optional) 
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup 
  • Pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate), divided
  • Zest of 1 orange 
  • 1 butternut squash, cubed 
  • Granulated sugar or brown sugar (to taste) 
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 bundle flat leaf parsley, chopped


1. Cook rice in vegetable broth and saffron threads per package directions.

2. In a bowl combine flour, cornstarch, salt, and pepper, add chicken and toss to coat.  

3. Heat olive oil in a large deep saute pan over medium-high heat.  Saute chicken in batches until golden and mostly cooked through.  Set chicken on a plate or platter on the side. 

4. In the same pan, add olive oil, onions, garlic, salt and pepper and cook until translucent. Add walnuts and stir until coated and slightly browned. Add 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar to deglaze the pan and cook down for a minute or two. Add chicken stock, pomegranate molasses, pomegranate paste, maple syrup, half the pomegranate seeds, orange zest, butternut squash, a pinch of sugar, turmeric, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon stick. Stir together, season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar and bring up to a boil. Simmer and allow sauce to cook down until it has thickened and reduced, approximately 20 minutes. 

5. Add half the chopped parsley and stir together. Check seasoning and add chicken. Lower heat and simmer for approximately 5 minutes until chicken is cooked through. Remove from heat and top with remaining chopped parsley and pomegranate seeds.

Serve over saffron rice.