Based on the Persian dish fesenjan, this streamlined entrée features a sweet-tart sauce of pomegranate juice thickened with ground walnuts. After toasting, cool the nuts completely before grinding.
1 cup walnuts, toasted
8 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
Dash of ground cinnamon
Cilantro sprigs (optional)
How to Make It
Place walnuts in a food processor; process until finely ground. Set aside.
Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.
Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, ground walnuts, broth, and the remaining ingredients except cilantro, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.
Based on reading the previous reviews, I used the nuts (pecans since that is what I had) plus some bread crumbs to coat the chicken, and left them out of the sauce. used boneless, skinless chicken thighs, and just used the sauce to the side of the chicken. served with some naan and a simple salad with candied pumpkin seeds...pretty good!
Its strange to find a Persian recipe in a jewish seder, given the current political climate...but it was a good recipe. I used a whole pomegranate instead of the juice, squeezed 1/2 of it and added the rest in seed form - nice texture and pretty. I served it with brown rice. Everyone liked it but no raves. I'm not sure I'd make again.
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