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Faisinjan (Chicken in Walnut and Pomegranate)

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  • Stephen Ceideburg
  • 1 Chicken
  • Olive oil
  • 1 Chopped onion
  • 250 g Walnuts, coarsely ground
  • 6 1/2 Pomegranates, juice only
  • 1 sm Lemon, juice only
  • 3 tb Brown sugar
  • 1 ts Ground cinnamon
  • Salt and pepper to taste


This classic Persian dish was originally made with game birds, but is fine with chicken - or duck if you prefer. With its scattering of pomegranate seeds and walnuts it is very decora- tive.
Disjoint a chicken (or use chicken pieces) and brown in a little olive oil in a heavy pan with a lid. Remove the chicken and set aside. Brown a chopped onion in the remaining oil. Add 250 g very coarsely ground walnuts and cook gently for a minute or so.
Add the juice of 6 1/2 pomegranates and 1 small lemon, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, a teaspoon ground cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer and return the chicken to the pan. Cook gently for 1 1/2 hours until very tender.
Taste and adjust the sweet-sour balance if necessary. Serve over steamed rice and scatter over the dish the seed sacs of the remaining half pomegranate and a handful of coarsely chopped walnuts.
Posted by Stephen Ceideburg
From an article by Meryl Constance in The Sydney Morning Herald, 5/11/93. Courtesy Mark Herron.
From Gemini's MASSIVE MealMaster collection at