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Khoresh Fesenjoon

Chicken stew in tangy pomegranate and walnut sauce
4.98 from 71 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 50 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 5 mins
Course khoresh, Main Course
Cuisine Persian
Servings 4


  • 4 tablespoons oil, divided
  • 4 pieces chicken breasts and thighs, with skin and bone on
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups walnuts, ground
  • 1/2 to 1 cup pomegranate molasses, amount varies based on different brands
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, ground
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground saffron, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, optional and as needed
  • 1-4 tablespoons sugar, optional and as needed


  • Saute the chicken pieces in a dutch oven with 2 tablespoons oil for 5 minutes on medium high heat. Rotate the chicken to lightly brown both sides.
  • Add water, cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • In a large frying pan, saute the onions with the remainder 2 tablespoon oil for 10 minutes until lightly brown.
  • While the chicken and onions are cooking, in a food processor pulse the walnuts until finely ground. Don’t overdo it, otherwise, you will have walnut butter. Set aside.
  • Add the ground walnuts to the pan with onions and stir over medium heat for a couple of minutes.
  • Add the walnuts, pomegranate molasses, salt and pepper to the chicken. Gently stir to incorporate all the items into the pan.
  • Cover, keep the flame on low and continue to cook for 75 minutes. Take extra care and stir occasionally to prevent this thick stew from burning on the bottom.
  • The stew should have turned into a deep maroon color and the chicken should be fork tender.
  • Add the saffron water, stir and taste for sweet and sour levels. Adjust by adding more sugar or lemon juice.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.
  • Serve with steamed Persian saffron basmati rice.
Keyword chicken, pomegranate, stew, walnuts
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