Khoresht fesenjaan (Persian chicken with pomegranate sauce)

    3 hours 20 min

    This is a Persian dish of chicken stewed in a pomegranate and walnut sauce. As they do in Iran, serve Khoresht Fesenjaan with white rice.

    37 people made this

    Serves: 12 

    • 100ml (4 fl oz) vegetable oil
    • 4 red onions, thinly sliced
    • 1.25kg (3 lb) skinless chicken thighs or breasts
    • 450ml (16 fl oz) hot water
    • 600ml (1 pint) pomegranate juice
    • 500g (1 1/4 lb) chopped walnuts
    • 2 tablespoons freshly ground cardamom
    • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon saffron powder
    • salt to taste
    • 1 butternut squash, seeded and diced

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:3hr  ›  Ready in:3hr20min 

    1. Heat the oil in a large heavy frying pan over medium heat. Sauté onions until they start to brown. Add chicken pieces, and fry until lightly browned on the outside. Pour in the water, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 30 minutes, adding more water if necessary to keep the mixture from drying out.
    2. Preheat the oven to 160 C / Gas mark 3. Combine the walnuts and pomegranate juice in the container of a blender or food processor. Process into a purée. This can be done in small batches if necessary. Add this mixture to the simmering chicken mixture. Season with cardamom, cinnamon, saffron powder and salt. Stir in the cubed squash. Transfer the entire mixture to a 23x33cm (9x13 in) baking dish.
    3. Bake loosely covered for 2 1/2 hours in the preheated oven. Serve with white rice.


    You can use a variety of chicken pieces for this dish.

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    Reviews in English (25)


    I made this a few weeks ago, it looks so tasty but in reality i was quite disappointed when I made it. It wasn't horrible, it's just that it tasted funny somehow. Would I make it again? No I don't think I would.  -  20 Jan 2012


    Tried this recipe last night and -- overall -- a tasty dish. I’ve had this several times in my favorite NYC Persian restaurant and would like to offer a few suggestions: 1.) In order to balance the potentially overpowering taste of the various spices, include about two tablespoons of lemon juice (or the juice of one lemon) and two or three tablespoons of sugar. This helps balance the flavor and seems more authentic to the dish – I think. 2.) Also, do watch the cooking time. Mine was ready in about 1 hour and 45 minutes. This is pretty close to the authentic way of preparing the dish. It is, however, an acquired taste.  -  30 May 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I have to be careful to rate this for what it was and not how it was received. My husband took 2 bites and was done! My grownup daughter loved it and took home half the leftovers! My younger kids poured a bowl of cereal instead. This is not something to make for the picky eater. You really need to love Middle Eastern food. If you I do.. you will love this recipe! I thought it was wonderful. I did have a hard time fitting it all in a 9 x 13 pan (no way!) I used a larger pan and it still spilled over a bit. I also cooked it much less than the recipe called for and still thought I had cooked it just a few minutes too long. Watch the time carefully. Mine was done with a full half hour to spare and I even cooked it at a little bit lower temp because I was going to be leaving the house. I came home with 30 minutes on the clock and wished I had taken it out about even 10 minutes earlier. I loved the spices. I wouldn't change that as others have said. You will either love it or hate it! If you know what to expect...and are actually looking for this type of will rave.  -  29 Jan 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)