KHORESHT-E FESENJAN (Iranian Chicken and Walnut Stew)

by Ed Halmagyi


1.5kg chicken thighs
salt flakes and freshly milled black pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 brown onions, finely sliced
6 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground nutmeg
4 cups silverbeet leaves, chopped
500g walnuts
1L chicken stock
1L water
300ml pomegranate molasses
1/3 cup caster sugar
couscous, finely-sliced red onion and lemon wedges, to serve

1 Season the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper, then fry in a large French oven in half the olive oil over a high heat until well-browned. Set aside. Sauté the onions and garlic in the same pot until softened, then add the spices and silverbeet, cook briefly, then set aside.
2 Grind the walnut to a fine crumb in a food processor, then cook in the pot over a low heat, stirring constantly, until very aromatic, about 8 minutes. Pour in the stock and water, then simmer for 45 minutes, until thickened. Add the pomegranate molasses and sugar, then simmer for another 15 minutes, until thickened.
3 Return the chicken pieces and onion mixture to the pot, fit the lid, the cook over a very low heat for 45 minutes, until the chicken is tender. Serve with couscous, sliced red onion and lemon wedges.