About this recipe:This is my take on the classic Iranian fesenjoon or fesenjan stew featuring duck legs instead of chicken. It still has the classic ingredients of pomegranate molasses and ground walnuts, making it every bit as exotic as it sounds. I'm assuming like most similar recipes, every household has their own version, and this kind of thing can easily be tailored to your tastes.
8 duck legs
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
60ml water, or as needed
3 tablespoons olive oil, or more to taste
300g diced onion
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1420ml chicken stock, or more as needed
160ml pomegranate molasses
360g walnut halves
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Season duck legs all over with salt and black pepper.
Heat vegetable oil in a large pan over high heat. Place duck legs, skin-side down, in hot oil and cook until browned, 2 to 5 minutes; turn and cook until browned on the other side, 2 to 4 minutes more. Transfer legs to a plate; pour rendered duck fat into a bowl.
Pour water into the pan and bring to the boil while scraping the browned bits of food off of the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Remove from heat.
Heat about 2 tablespoons duck fat and olive oil in a heavy casserole pot oven medium heat. Cook and stir onion in hot oil and duck fat until golden brown, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add turmeric, cinnamon and nutmeg; cook and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add chicken stock, pomegranate molasses, honey and reserved sauce from the pan into the onion and spice mixture in the casserole pot; bring to a simmer.
Grind walnuts to a fine powder in a food processor.
Cook and stir walnuts in a pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir ground walnuts into the casserole pot; add the browned duck legs. Reduce heat and simmer until duck legs are tender, about 3 to 4 hours. Transfer to a serving dish.
Bring stock mixture to the boil; cook until reduced and desired sauce consistency is reached. Season with salt. Ladle sauce over duck legs.