Salt & Wind Travel

{Khoresh-e Fesenjān} Persian Chicken Stew Recipe

Growing up in Los Angeles meant a lot of my friends came from various backgrounds and it meant a lot of good food. One of my favorite things was to go to my friend’s house when they were serving this Persian Braised Chicken Stew Recipe.

I spent a lot of my free time with my friends of Persian descent and got invited to a lot of phenomenal parties. Which, if you haven’t been to a such a party, might require a bit of explaining. Imagine a house filled shoulder-to-shoulder with people, a huge spread of food, and everyone dancing to lively guitar music while some amazing 80-year old grandma belts in a way that would put Taylor Swift to shame.

My main workout of this time period was dancing at these parties and then promptly eating as much as I could handle. Pause and repeat until the wee hours. Any of these parties worth their weight would have phenomenal food, like amazing Saffron Kebabs, tons of kumquats, and lots and lots of Khoresh-e Fesenjān aka Fesenjān aka Pomegranate-Walnut Braised Chicken. This recipe has been in my life for years, but I’ve never bothered to bring it back and make it myself until these past few months.

There are as many versions of fesanjan as there are Persian grandmothers but the right proportion of pomegranate to walnut makes all the flavor difference. Too much of one and it’s too tart, the other and it’s too earthy – you get the idea.

Though I am approximately no parts Iranian heritage, I would like to stake my claim to fesanjan fame with this recipe. After years of eating it and cooking it at various friends’ houses, I learned a thing or two about how to make it, and this recipe is a delicious result. In fact, I’d be willing to head to one of my friend’s parties and have them taste it for themselves. 

Go stock up on all your cooking essentials then head into the kitchen, make this, and share it with us by tagging @saltandwind and #swsociety on social!

Serving of Walnut Pomegranate Braised Chicken
{Khoresh-e Fesenjān} Persian Braised Chicken Stew Recipe

{Khoresh-e Fesenjān} Persian Braised Chicken Stew Recipe

A great and easy recipe or a traditional Persian dish, Fesanjan or Persian Braised Chicken Stew Recipe.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main
Cuisine Persian
Servings 8 servings
Calories 659 kcal


  • 2 1/2 cups walnut halves (about 10 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 pounds bone-in chicken thighs
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 1/2 kosher salt divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
  • 3 cups 100% unsweetened pomegranate juice
  • 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions finely chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped toasted walnuts for garnish
  • pomegranate seeds for garnish
  • Roughly chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
  • Steamed Rice or other grain for serving


  • Toast The Walnuts: Heat the oven to 375°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Spread the walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast until golden and toasted smelling, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven until cool enough to handle then pulse in a food processor until ground into a fine meal.
  • Prepare The Chicken: Meanwhile, use a paper towel to pull off any skin and any excess fat from the chicken thighs. Mix together the coriander, cinnamon, 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper and rub into the chicken thighs.
  • Simmer The Pomegranate Sauce: Combine the pomegranate juice and brown sugar in small saucepan. Bring to a boil and let cook until reduced by half, about 30 minutes. When the juice is reduced, remove from heat and set aside.
  • Sear The Chicken: Meanwhile, begin cooking the chicken. Heat the butter and oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. When the butter foams, add chicken to the pan, working in batches, so it’s in a single layer and not crowded.
    Cook chicken until it’s golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side, or until golden and seared. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Repeat with remaining chicken.
  • Cook The Onions: Remove and discard all but 1 tablespoon of the oil mixture from the pan. Add onions to the pan, reduce heat to medium, season with the remaining 1 teaspoon of the salt, and stir to coat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are golden brown, about 5 minutes.
  • Braise The Chicken: Add the reduced pomegranate juice mixture, ground toasted walnuts, and chicken. Cook on low heat for 1 hour, stirring every 5 minutes to prevent the walnuts from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Check to make sure the sauce is thickened and the chicken is cooked through and knife tender.
  • Garnish The Stew: Remove from heat and adjust sugar and salt to taste. Serve over grains and garnish with walnuts, pomegranate arils, and parsley.



Serving: 1 servingCalories: 659kcalCarbohydrates: 26gProtein: 27gFat: 52gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 25gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 122mgSodium: 202mgPotassium: 695mgFiber: 4gSugar: 18gVitamin A: 148IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 2mg
Keyword persian braised chicken, pomegranate walnut chicken
Tried this recipe?Mention @saltandwind or tag #swsociety!

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