Fasenjan | The Jewish Week | Food & Wine

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This traditional Persian dish, fasenjan, calls for chicken braised with pomegranate jam and crushed walnuts. Ronnie Fein/JW

Makes 4-6 servings / 2 cups of Pomegranate Confiture

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2 lbs. chicken thighs and drumsticks

1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. kosher salt

2 tsp. ground black pepper

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. ground turmeric

3 tbsp. canola oil

1-1/4 cups pomegranate confiture

2 cups toasted walnuts

Pinch of saffron threads (optional)

Pomegranate Confiture:

6 cups pomegranate seeds (from about 10 medium pomegranates)

6 cups sugar

1/4 cup water

* If, for some crazy reason, you can manage to live without pomegranate confiture you can make a substitute for it by whisking together 1/2 cup of pomegranate molasses, 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice, and 1/4 cup of honey.


Place a large pot over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. While the pot is heating, pat the chicken dry and season with the salt, pepper, cumin and turmeric. Add the oil to the pot and brown the chicken on all sides. Overcrowding the pot will steam the chicken instead of searing it. Add the pomegranate confiture and stir in the walnuts and saffron. Place a lid on the pot and bring to a boil, then lower the heat to simmer for 45 minutes. Uncover and reduce the sauce for another 45 minutes. Remove from the heat and take the pot straight to the table for a family-style meal.

Pomegranate Confiture:

Place the seeds, sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and cook until thick, like syrup, about 35 minutes. Stir the mixture regularly to prevent the bottom from burning. Remove from the heat and, using a china cup or ladle, strain and discard any excess seeds. Let cool completely.