Hello humble but delicious, versatile, and healthy.....chicken. When the Recipe Redux challenged recipe contributors to submit recipes based on 2013 food trends, I was intrigued. With the added challenge of making the recipe a one-pot meal, I was a bit intimidated. I am not a big one-pot-meal kind of cook. I set about doing a little online research to see just what kinds of food trends we might be seeing this year and there was a lot of inspiration.
Plenty of the resources I tapped predicted that chicken would enjoy a resurgence, both in restaurants and at home. Of course, we aren't talking about ordinary, factory-farm raised chickens that crowd coops and store shelves. Many are predicting that chicken will take center stage because it is increasingly becoming easier and more affordable to find well-raised, organic, free-range chickens--which definitely tastes better and lends itself well to the ongoing trend toward local sourcing. In no time, I had my main ingredient.
Another tempting trend appeared on several lists. One that was interesting and challenging. Not an ingredient trend, but a taste trend. What is it? Sour! And I don't mean the kind of sour you experience in sweet & sour chicken or the beloved Sour Patch Kid candy. I mean the kind of sour that almost brings your lips to a pucker. Almost. I immediately thought of a chicken dish I enjoyed in a Persian restaurant in NYC a couple of years ago and thought it the perfect candidate for this recipe challenge.
|Persian Pomegranate, Walnut & Chicken Stew (Fesenjan) www.kindred-kitchen.com|
I used a slow cooker for this recipe, which I highly recommend. You could us a Dutch oven on the stove top. Expect the cooking time to be about 2 hours using the stove top method. As it cooks, it will become a beautiful deep rich color---and your kitchen will smell amazing! One more tip-it's even better as leftovers.
I hope you'll give it a try...and let me know what you think!
Persian Pomegranate & Walnut Chicken Stew
Prep and cooking time: about 6 hours
2 TBSP. olive oil
2 pounds whole chicken pieces (I prefer a mix of breast, thigh and leg; preferably skinless and bone-in. Boneless is also great and makes the shredding of the chicken easier)
1 large yellow onion, sliced in half and cut into thin strips
2 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. each cinnamon, cardamom, tumeric
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup pomegranate molasses
2 TBSP. dark brown sugar
Juice of 1 lime
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 1/2 cups walnuts, ground coarsely in a food processor
Brown basmati rice for serving
A couple of notes before you begin. If you are using a slow cooker that has a stove-top function, you can do all of these steps in there. If your slow cooker does not have this function, you'll need heat your slow cooker on high as you complete the first 4 steps in a separate pan on the stove top (which, I suppose, technically makes this a 2-pot dish :)). Once you've completed the first 4 steps, transfer everything over to your heated slow cooker and continue the recipe from there.
1. Heat the the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or slow cooker (set on stove top function) over medium high heat
2. Wash the chicken pieces and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper and saute until browned on all sides (about 10 minutes). Remove from pan and set aside
3. Add the onion and garlic to the pan and saute until the onions become soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the spices, salt, and pepper and cook for 3 minutes
4. Add the pomegranate molasses, dark brown sugar, and lime juice and cook for 2 minutes (transfer to slow cooker if you are using one)
5. Add the chicken stock, ground walnuts and chicken
6. Set the slow cooker to high until it comes to a rolling simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for 6 hours, turning the chicken a couple of times during cooking time (you could leave the slow cooker on high and cook for 4 hours)
7. At the end of the cooking time, remove the chicken from the pot and place in a bowl. Turn the slow cooker to stove top-high temp or transfer the sauce in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan and bring to a rolling simmer over medium-high heat. Allow the sauce to cook (uncovered) at a strong simmer until thickened and reduced by half (about 30 minutes) (I usually put the rice on just before I remove the chicken from the sauce)
8. While the sauce is reducing, remove the chicken from the bones and shred with a fork (the meat will literally just fall off). Be careful to remove all bones
9. Once the sauce has reduced, place the chicken back in the sauce and allow to warm through. Serve with brown basmati rice and your favorite veggies on the side
©2013 Kindred Kitchen / Nancy Granada
|Pomegranate, Walnut & Chicken Stew (Fesenjan) www.kindred-kitchen.com|