When you think of Persian cuisine, what do you think of? I think of nothing because I’ve never had it. For example, does the name “Khoresh Fesenjan” ring a bell with you? Me neither. But I discovered a recipe a while ago and thought it to be such a unique combination of ingredients with so much potential for variations. I tested the dish on several people and wowed them all. The original version of the stew calls for duck and ground walnuts as well as a 2-1/2 hour cooking time to allow the walnuts to release their oil. Well I found a shortcut (peanut butter) which requires less cooking time. You wouldn’t notice from the taste but this dish is very nutritious and well balanced. It is also very filling so start with a small portion.
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 pounds chicken breast, chicken thighs or turkey tenderloin, chopped into small cubes
1 white onion, chopped
3/4 cup peanut butter
3-4 cups pomegranate juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cardamom (optional)
1 cup bulgur (or rice)
2 cups water
2 Tbsp sake
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp salt
1 cup shelled edamame, fresh or frozen
1. To prepare the stew, heat the oil in a medium pot on high heat and cook the onions and chicken until the chicken is lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes. Mix in 3 cups of pomegranate juice and the rest of the ingredients. Turn down the heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 to 1-1/2 hours or until meat is tender but not dry, stirring occasionally. Add pomegranate juice as needed to thin the stew or to create more broth.
2. To prepare the bulgur, place all ingredients except the edamame in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Throw in the edamame and continue to cook, covered, for another 5 minutes. Add water, as needed, to keep the bulgur from getting too dry.
3. To serve, fill 1/3 to 1/2 of a bowl with the bulgur as shown below and spoon the stew in the other half: