We recently went to a cooking class on Persian food, given by Hip Cooks, and this was one of the dishes that we made in the class. It was delicious, and pretty simple to make, so when we finally found the pomegranate molasses, we decided we would have to try it out on our own. It turned out brilliantly, so well that we plan to keep the pomegranate molasses and some walnuts in our standard pantry stock, so that we can make this on a regular rotation. This is one of those dishes where almost the best part of it is smelling it cooking, so please try it out for yourselves, you won’t regret it.
If you can’t find the pomegranate molasses, you can make it by cooking down 100% pomegranate juice with sugar until it is a thick syrup. It’s expensive to do it that way, but if you have no other option, it works. Recipes for that can be found online.
edit: The last time we made this, I did the walnuts with a manual nut chopper instead of the small food processor, and it was actually quicker and worked better. With the food processor, you have to pulse it so that you don’t burn the nuts, but with the manual chopper, you can just keep going, and it actually chops the walnuts at least as finely.
This recipe would be a good lunch or dinner for about 4 people.
- 12 chicken thighs
- 1 1/2 cups whole, raw, walnuts
- 2 onions
- About 3/4 cup pomegranate molasses
- 2-3 tsp sugar
- A couple handfuls of chopped mint, parsley, and cilantro
- Greek yogurt
- Using a small food processor or nut chopper, chop the walnuts until they are a coarse meal. If using the food processor, pulse it, so that you don’t heat up and burn the nuts.
- In a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat, lightly toast the walnuts, just until they become nice and fragrant.
- Add the 3/4 cup pomegranate molasses and about 1/2 cup of water to the pan, and mix well. This will cook down for basically the rest of the preparation time, but you may need to add a bit more water periodically if it gets too dry. Stir periodically to keep it from burning.
- While that is cooking down, finely chop your onions, and cut the chicken thighs into small pieces.
- In another skillet over medium heat, add a few tablespoons of oil, and saute the onions until they become translucent, then add the chicken and saute it until it just turns color on the outside.
- Add about 3 glasses of water to the chicken and onions, bring to a boil, and let boil for 20-30 minutes.
- In a rice cooker or pot, start 2 cups of jasmine or basmati rice cooking.
- Once the chicken and onions are done boiling, and the pomegranate/walnut sauce is nice and thick and rich, strain the liquid out of the chicken and onions, and add the chicken and onions to the pomegranate/walnut sauce.
- Mix the chicken and onions into the sauce, and then add a bit of the cooking liquid from the chicken and onions. Mix everything together well, and let it all simmer down for another 10 minutes or so.
- Meanwhile, chop up your mint, parsley and cilantro.
- In the skillet you used for the chicken, add some oil, and once the oil is hot, toss in the herbs, and saute briefly until bright green and fragrant.
- Stir the herbs and some greek yogurt into the pomegranate/walnut sauce, remove from heat, and serve over the jasmine or basmati rice.