fesenjan. The recipe I used for inspiration can be found here. The stew is sautéed chicken flavored with onion, turmeric, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and pomegranate molasses. It uses ground walnuts as a thickener. I prepared this at home, froze it, then it was thawed and reheated at the event.
To go with the fesenjan, I made rice, which I also froze and reheated at the event. For both the stew and the rice, I double bagged them in heavy duty freezer bags to be reheated by placing the bags in a large pot of boiling water.
I like this a lot. The walnuts add a great flavor, and the pomegranate molasses gives it a mildly tart, almost sweet and sour, taste that is quite different from most chicken dishes you'll run into.
I also made some stuffed dates. I worked from a recipe by a friend of the brides. There were stuffed
with a mixture of cream cheese, honey, ground pistachios, and cinnamon. I worked the mixture in my stand mixer until smooth and creamy, then placed it into a piping bag with a plain tip with an opening about the same size as the opening in the dates. One thing I will do next time is run the nuts through a colander to remove the largest pieces. I had my pastry tip clog a couple of times on a larger piece of pistachio. I piped the dates full of the mixture.
These turned out really nice. The creaminess of the filling contrasted well with the firm date.
Fesenjan (Chicken, Pomegranate, and Walnut Stew)2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken thighs and breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 medium white onion, diced
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup ground walnuts
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. pomegranate molasses
1 1/2 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
salt to taste
Add butter and oil to a skillet over medium to medium high heat. Sautéed chicken pieces until lightly browned on all sides. Chicken need not be fully cooked. Place in a stock pot..
Sweat onions in pan until translucent. Add to stock pot.
Use a little of the stock to deglaze the pan. Add to stock pot. Cover chicken with remaining stock.
Cook at a simmer for 20 minutes. Add pomegranate molasses and spices. Stir in walnuts. Simmer another 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve over long grain rice.
Stuffed Dates5 lbs. pitted dates
16 oz. by wt. cream cheese
1/3 cup honey
1 cup ground pistachios
1 Tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
In the bowl of a stand mixer, work cream cheese with a paddle until smooth. Add honey, work again until creamy. Add sugar, nuts, cinnamon, and salt. Work for five minutes, or until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag with a plain tip that will just fit in the dates.
Pipe into each date until it is just full. Refrigerate dates until serving time.