An aromatic chicken stew



Prep time

20 minutes

Cook time

1 hour 15 minutes

Fesenjan is an aromatic chicken stew which makes use of various spices, as well as orange and pomegranate for a little extra flavour.


250g walnuts
600g  chicken, cut into small chunks
brown onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
orange, peel of one half, zest of the other
400g  tinned chickpeas, drained and washed
500ml  chicken stock
4 tbsps pomegranate molasses
parsley, finely chopped, handful
1/2 pomegranate, seeds only 
5 tsps  ground cumin
2 tsps cinnamon
1 cinnamon stick
1.5 tsps ground cloves
1.5 tsps nutmeg
1/2 tsp turmeric 
1 tsp black pepper
salt, to taste
2 tsps  olive oil
1 tbsp   butter


1. Begin by pre heating an oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas mark 4. Once hot, cook the walnuts for approximately 10 minutes or until brittle and dry. Now remove and blitz in a blender until a fine powder forms.

2. Take a large pan, place over a medium heat and add half the olive oil and all of the butter. When the butter has melted fry the chicken until golden brown, then remove to a side plate along with any juices. Whilst frying if there is excess chicken juice in the pan, which might make it difficult to brown the chicken, simply drain and save the liquids and continue.

3. Once you have removed the chicken, add the rest of the olive oil. Now, fry the onions with a little salt until soft.

4. Now add the garlic and fry for 2 minutes. 

5. Reduce to a low heat, and add the cumin, cinnamon, cinnamon stick, nutmeg, turmeric, black pepper,  ground cloves, orange zest and peel. Stir through and cook for 2 minutes, add a little water if necessary to loosen. 

6. Now, add the stock, chicken and juices, pomegranate molasses, walnuts. Mix together, and bring to a simmer then reduce to a low heat. Cook for 45 minutes stirring every 5-10 minutes to ensure that the curry does not stick. 

7. Once the stew has cooked, top with fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds.

Chef’s tips

This stew is really more aromatic rather than spicy but add a little chilli if you want some heat.


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