‘Fesenjan’ – Persian Pomegranate Braised Chicken


Persian pomegranate braised chicken
Fragrant 'Fesenjan' or pomegranate braised chicken has been around since the days of the Persian Empire, some 2,500 years ago. Enjoy the classic flavour-infused Iranian dish, in soup with crispy onions or in a traditional tahchin.


Serves 6



2 tbsp olive oil

6 chicken Maryland

1 cup walnuts

1 onion, thinly sliced

6 single bulb garlic cloves (or 12 regular garlic cloves, skin on)

1 cinnamon quill

1 tsp paprika powder

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 tbsp pomegranate molasses

2 cups chicken stock

Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsp honey



  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (180°C fan forced). Heat oil in a flameproof casserole over medium heat. Season the chicken, add to pan skin side down, and cook for 6-8 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden.
  2. Meanwhile, place the walnuts in a small food processor and process until finely ground.
  3. Remove the chicken from the pan and set aside. Add the onion, garlic and walnuts and cook, stirring occasionally for 8 minutes, or until starting to colour. Add the cinnamon, paprika, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, stock, lemon zest and juice and honey and bring to a simmer.
  4. Return the chicken to pan, place in the oven, uncovered and cook for 40 minutes, or until the chicken is golden and cooked through.


TO SERVE: serve with pilaf-style rice, simple green salad and lemon wedges.

TO FREEZE: store chicken whole, in containers with sauce, or shred the meat, discarding the bones and store chicken meat with sauce.

TO THAW AND REHEAT: thaw the chicken in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Place chicken in a small, deep-sided roasting pan, covered with foil. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan forced) and heat for 30 minutes. Uncover and heat for a further 15 minutes, to colour.


Use this as a master recipe to make:

Persian Tahchin – Saffron Rice with Pomegranate Braised Chicken

Tahchin is a Persian savoury dish made of rice, yogurt, saffron, egg, and in this case pomegranate braised ‘Fesenjan’ chicken. Slowly cooked for over an hour in a pan, the dish is inverted onto the plate to serve, revealing the beautiful golden crust of the rice.


Persian Chicken & Chickpea Soup with Crispy Onions

Enjoy the classic Persian flavours of ‘Fesenjan’ pomegranate braised chicken together with chickpeas and crispy onions in this flavour-packed soup – the perfect warming dish on a cold winter evening.



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