• Chicken pieces, 1-1.5 kgs
• Ground walnuts, 500 grams
• 3-4 onions
• Pomegranate juice, 3-4 glasses (or 4-5 spoons of pomegranate paste)
• Sugar, 2-3 spoons
• 1/2 cup of cooking oil
• 3 cups low-salt chicken broth
• 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads
• 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
• 1 tablespoon canola oil
• 1/2 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
• 2 cups basmati rice
• 1 cup frozen peas
Peel onions and slice thinly. Fry in oil until slightly golden. Wash chicken pieces and fry in onions until color changes. Add 3 glasses of hot water and bring to boil. Turn heat down and let boil slowly for about 30 minutes adding more hot water if needed.
Meanwhile, cook rice. To get the most flavor out of saffron, steep it in warm chicken broth. Heat the chicken broth until hot but not boiling. Crumble in the saffron, crushing the stamens, then stir and let steep while you continue with the recipe. Heat butter and oil in a large heavy pot. Cook onion on medium heat, stirring, until soft. Stir in rice and cook until the grains turn opaque and are completely coated, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas and chicken broth, bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to very, very low, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the grains tender, about 20 minutes. Stir with a chopstick and cover again to steam for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork or chopstick before serving. Can be made ahead and reheated.
Back to the chicken. Add salt, ground walnuts and pomegranate juice or paste (if using pomegranate paste, add 2 more glasses of hot water and bring to slow boil). If pomegranate juice or paste is sour, add some sugar to the khoresht. Care should be taken to cook the khoresht long enough so that the oil in walnuts comes out and the mix becomes quite thick. Serve Khoresht fesenjan with rice.
Recipes adapted from Persian Recipes and Global Gourmet websites.