Duck fesenjan

    3 hours 30 min

    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.

    20 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 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
    • 60ml honey
    • 360g walnut halves

    Prep:15min  ›  Cook:3hr15min  ›  Ready in:3hr30min 

    1. Season duck legs all over with salt and black pepper.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. Grind walnuts to a fine powder in a food processor.
    7. 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.
    8. Bring stock mixture to the boil; cook until reduced and desired sauce consistency is reached. Season with salt. Ladle sauce over duck legs.

    See it on my blog

    Food Wishes

    Recently viewed

    Reviews & ratings
    Average global rating:

    Reviews in English (6)


    Yes you can Make it night before  -  16 Sep 2017


    I prepped mine on the stove and then transferred to a slow cooker to simmer away while I was at work. So delicious and so easy. Chef John wins again!  -  06 Jan 2015  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I usually cook ground walnuts alone for at least 2 hours to extract all the oil of walnuts so I don't add any extra oil to the stew. Chef john, thanks and here are my suggestions for Persian dessert: Faloodeh and Ghotab  -  13 May 2016  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)