Fesenjan Recipe Made Easy

by Marjan 

This is truly how the East meets West! I guarantee you will love this easy to make recipe for Fesenjan. Robust sweet and sour pomegranate molasses and earthy walnut braising slowly in a crock pot (slow cooker) renders an easy to make traditional popular Persian dish, Fesenjan.
Years ago I posted my mother’s recipe for Fesenjoon.  One of our readers posed the question of whether using a crock pot would render the same flavor and taste vs. stirring this time consuming stew. 
Recently, one of my dear friends presented me with my very own crock pot.  So of course, my initial instinct was to make Fesenjan and see if it would taste the same. I am glad to report, yes it does!  I have changed my recipe slightly and feel this new version not only tastes better, but it is also easier to make because it takes the time consuming simmering and stirring for 3-4 hours out of the equation.
The final result is a deep, rich, earthy walnut flavor accented with sweet and sour pomegranate molasses and chicken. A vegetarian option is possible by simply omitting use of chicken. During these cold autumn and winter days, nothing nourishes the soul and body better than Fesenjoon served with Persian rice.

I like to make a large pot of Fesenjan which serves 10-12  (without the chicken) and freeze individual portion containers that will serve 4-6 people. Night before serving, I simply take one container of prepared sauce out of the freezer; let it sit in the fridge over night until it thaws. An hour before serving, I slowly warm my Fesenjan to a gentle boil, add chicken pieces and cook for an additional hour until chicken is tender. Same great taste available whenever my craving strikes!

Check out our original post for Fesenjoon to prepare this delicious dish without a crock pot.

**note: spelling of Fesenjoon and Fesenjan can be used interchangeably- for purpose of distinguish our original recipe from the crock pot version, I have chosen Fesenjan to name our new post.

Serves 6-8
4 cups walnut- make certain walnuts are fresh and not rancid from long shelf life 
6-7 cups of water
1 10 oz bottle of pomegranate molasses
1 cup dried, pitted prunes or even natural prune fruit rolls cut up into chunks (lavashak)
2 chicken breasts - skinless and boneless cut up into bite size chunks
Canola oil
Salt and pepper
½ cup sugar
*turmeric - optional

Place walnuts in a food processor and crush until millet size grains are rendered. In a large flat frying pan over medium low heat, heat walnut crumbles for 4-5 minutes until fragrant (stirring frequently to prevent walnuts from burning).

If using prunes, in a food processor, also mash them until a paste is formed. 
Transfer walnut/prune paste to crock pot, add water, 1 teaspoon of salt, sugar and pomegranate molasses; place temperature on high, close lid and simmer for 3-4 hours (or 1 hour on high and on low overnight). If using natural prune fruit rolls, simply place walnuts, fruit rolls, salt, sugar and pomegranate molasses in a crock pot to cook. Consistency should be similar to warm oatmeal- if your mixture is thick add cold water until somewhat runny consistency achieved.

In a large frying pan over medium heat, warm canola oil and add chicken.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a dash of turmeric powder (optional). Sauté chicken to simply sear the outside golden on all sides (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat and transfer chicken and all of its juices to Fesenjan; continue to simmer for an additional 30 minutes until cooked.
This recipe will deliver an unforgettable sweet and sour flavor.  However if you like your Fesenjoon sweet (as I do!), add more sugar to taste and allow it to simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

From our partner: LO+JUNE

From our partner: LO+JUNE
Artisanal French products in our Swiss fine food boutique