Thursday, 18 April 2019

Fasanjoon Or Fesenjoon Or Fesenjan = Walnut And Pomegranate Chicken

Pick your spelling, but however you spell it, it's a super tasty dish.  I've recently made pomegranate molasses, so I was hunting up a recipe which included this delicious sweet and sour syrup.  I found this nutty dish in one of my fave cookbooks Delights from the Garden of Eden by Nawal Nasrallah.  I love that this is a simplified version of this chicken and walnut recipe, while maintaining the marvellously tangy and nutty taste.  (Some recipes have you simmering the sauce for two hours!)

Regular readers know all my chicken stories: being attacked by crazy chooks when we were in the outside loo; watching headless chickens run around after our friends' dad chopped off their heads.  So I will leave you with a lovely picture in your mind of several pretty little chooks pecking around outside the local bakery, waiting for crumbs.  Not sure where they're from - maybe ferals?; maybe they belong to someone across the road ...   Ah, so that's why the chicken crossed the road:-)

tangy and nutty - who could ask for anything more? 

(Recipe slightly adapted by Sherry's Pickings)

Serves 4:


1 cup (115g./4oz.) walnuts, toasted - see method below

1.25kg (just over 2.5 lb) chicken thighs/pieces/Marylands, without skin

4-5 cardamom pods

about 2 Litres/8 cups cold water

1-2 tbs olive or vegetable oil

1 large brown onion, chopped coarsely

60-70 mLs (1/4 cup) pomegranate molassess

1.5 tsp sea salt flakes

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes

1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar and pestle

750 mLs (3 cups) chicken broth

For the garnish:

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

4 tbs pomegranate seeds (optional)

scattering of dried (edible) rose petals and 1-2 tsp ras-el-hanout


Firstly, toast the walnuts @ 175C for about 10 minutes till fragrant

Cool for a few minutes, then put them in a food processor and blitz till oily - they should be able to be squished together in your fingers and stay in a clump - then put aside till needed

Place the chicken pieces and cardamom pods in a 5 Litre saucepan

Pour in the cold water; add a bit more if needed to cover the chicken

Bring to the boil on high heat, taking off the scum as needed

Turn the heat to low, and simmer gently, lid on, for 25-30 minutes

Take the chicken pieces out of the broth and put aside

Heat the oil in a medium saucepan, and add the onion

Sauté the onion for about 8 minutes till it starts to go translucent

Add the walnuts, pomegranate molasses, salt, pepper, chilli flakes, coriander seeds and strained chicken broth

Bring it to the boil on high, then reduce to medium-low heat and let it boil gently, lid on, for 20-25 minutes till thickened - giving it a stir several times during the cooking period

Then add the chicken pieces and let it simmer for another 5-10 minutes without the lid

Scatter the garnish over this tangy dish and serve with salad and steamed rice


I used boneless chicken thighs, but I feel that at least half (or all?) the chicken should be bone-in (Mr P. doesn't like bones!)

I used 1 red onion + 1 large French shallot 'cos that's what I had

Because I was using the broth that the chicken was cooked in, I added some salt and pepper, dried herbs and 1-2 tsp of chicken stock powder to boost the flavour as the broth was very light

Ras-el-hanout is a Moroccan spice mix, available in spice stores, delis and online

ingredients gathered

blitz your nuts :-)

grind the coriander seeds and chop the onion

skim off the scum with your spider :-)

sauté the onion and add the walnuts, etc

broth in; now simmer for about 25 mins.

chicken pieces in for 5-10 mins.

ready to eat

Okay, so it's hard to make a stew-type dish look fabulous, but it tastes wonderful.  Definitely worth a go.

        walnutty artwork by Sherry's Pickings


  1. A very nutritious and delicious dish!

  2. What an appealing combination of tastes and textures!

    Thanks for your comment on my post about breakfast cereal... I updated the post with some history.

    best... mae at

    1. hi Mae,
      I'll have another look at your post! sad when these old companies go under...

  3. I absolutely love the sound of this Sherry! So perfect for this slightly chillier weather :D

  4. This was a superb dish, like all Mrs P's efforts. A big task putting it together, and what a delicious result. Mr P has a hard life . . .

  5. This is one of my favorite Persian dishes! I love your recipe for a couple of reasons… It seems lighter than others I have countered, and you garnish it with rose petals! I love that! I haven’t made it in ages, but will be making it soon… Thanks, Sherry!

    1. hi there
      thanks for dropping by my blog. yes this is a fab dish. so tasty. cheers S

  6. I must admit that I'm not familiar with fasanjoon...or fesenjoon...or fesenjan. But it sounds delicious! I love the flavors you've got going on in there!

    1. hi david
      thanks for dropping by. yep it has some great flavours.


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