04 Apr Walnut & Prune Spiced Chicken Stew
This is a gorgeous meal to enjoy on a cold night. The combination of flavours in this dish is inspired by the traditional Persian chicken dish, Fesenjān, an Iranian slow-cooked special occasion stew made with ground walnuts and pomegranate molasses. Going to make Fesenjān one day, I was unable to get my hands on the pomegranate molasses, and improvised.
This is a great dish to make for a crowd- it can be made in advance & the recipe multiplies well. This stew also freezes excellently.
The delicate taste of this sweet, fragrant stew is complimented & elevated by the nutty, buttery background flavours coming from starting this dish with our gorgeous ghee.
- 1 tsbp ghee
- 6 free range chicken breasts, diced into generous-sized pieces
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 500ml cranberry juice
- 150g Walnuts
- 200ml chicken stock (using good quality stock cubes Is fine)
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 tsp fenugreek (optional, but delicious)
- Cracked back pepper
In a saucepan, bring the cranberry juice to the boil, turn down the heat & leave to simmer for about 45mins-1hr until the liquid has reduced down to approc 1/3 its original volume. Set aside.
In a pan, toast the walnuts for 5-6 minutes– keep moving them around so that they don’t burn. Remove from the pan & whizz up the walnuts in a food processer or blender until they are very finely ground (like the consistency of ground almonds)
Melt the ghee in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the diced onions and sauté until the onions have softened a little. Add the chicken to the pan & fry for a couple of minutes. Mix the chicken stock, concentrated cranberry juice, ground walnuts and spices. Add the liquid to the chicken & onions, bring to the boil, then turn the heat right down. Season well with black pepper– it is probably salty enough from the chicken stock, but you can always adjust the seasoning once cooked if needs be. Allow to simmer very gently for up to an hour until the sauce has reduced and the chicken is succulent and tender.
Gorgeous served with rice and sprinkled with chopped flat leaf parsley and pomegranate seeds. Other lovely additions are raita & pickled veg.