Monday, December 15, 2014


I came across this dish in a recent NYT article about holiday dishes from around the world. I had never heard of this Iranian stew of chicken, walnuts and pomegranate molasses but was intrigued. Although it is somewhat presumptuous to make changes to a recipe I have no parameters for, I did. And it was outstanding!

First, I did not have boneless, skinless chicken. I had some chicken drumsticks and needed to make chicken stock anyway. So I de-skinned the legs (saved the skins to make schmalz!) and browned them in some olive oil for my base. Then I removed them and caramelized my onions for about 20 minutes. Added the chicken back to the pot and added water to cover. Let that simmer for an hour. While that's simmering, toast nuts in a pan or the oven about 15 minutes. Let them cool, then puree in the food processor. After you've simmered for an hour, add the nuts to the pot, along with the molasses and spices. Cook on low for another 30-45 minutes. Be really careful here. Recipes I looked at told me to stir every 20 minutes because the nuts could burn. Of course mine burned, I'd stir a lot more frequently. But even so, it was still so good. Taste it to make sure you've got enough salt and pepper. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and cilantro.

2 T. or so of olive oil
6-7 de-skinned, bone-in chicken drumsticks, seasoned with S&P
1 onion
about 2 or 2.5 cups of water
2 cups pecans or walnuts
1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
1 T. spice blend (mine included turmeric, cardamom and cayenne)
salt and pepper
pomegranate seeds