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Fesenjan (Iranian Special Occasion Dish)

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“I had this marvelous dish in a Mediterranean Cafe. The fragrance is wonderful and the taste sublime. There has been quite a bit of discussion on this recipe. I would like to clarify that I have had this dish only twice at one restaurant and that I have never actually made the dish. I enjoyed it so much I searched and found this recipe online, it is not original by me. I do not find the one star review helpful. That it doesn't taste like grandma's does not mean it is a bad recipe. As for the use of Garlic, I know nothing of regional Iranian dishes, but I love garlic in most anything!”
1hr 15mins

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat butter or oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven.
  2. Add onions and sauté until wilted and translucent.
  3. Add garlic, cinnamon and nutmeg and sauté, stirring, for another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Stir in walnuts, pomegranate syrup, stock, sugar, salt, pepper and saffron.
  5. Adjust sugar and salt to taste.
  6. Bring to a low boil and simmer 1/2 hour.
  7. Add chicken and simmer on low heat another 30-60 minutes.
  8. Halfway through the cooking time, add the lime juice to taste.
  9. The sauce will thicken and darken during this cooking time, and the oil will begin to render out of the walnuts.
  10. Add water or stock if necessary to prevent the sauce from thickening too much and scorching.
  11. Serve with plain white rice.
  12. NOTES Fesenjan is special occasion food in Iran.
  13. It is traditionally made with duck or pheasant in the north of the country along the Caspian sea.
  14. It is a thick, rich, sweet-sour dish that improves in flavor the next day.
  15. Pomegranate syrup is available in most Middle Eastern and health food stores.
  16. If it is unavailable, you can use an equal amount of frozen, concentrated cranberry juice.
  17. The flavor is roughly the same.
  18. You can use a whole bone-in chicken if you like.
  19. Cut it into 8 serving pieces and remove most of the skin.
  20. The bones will give the dish a richer flavor.

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