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Recipes

Khoresht-e Fesenjan (Chicken or duck in pomegranate sauce)

Serves 4

Prep time: 1/2 hr

Cooking time: 1 hr

2 small onions, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, butter or margarine

1 pound skinless and boneless chicken or duck breast cut into thin strips

2 large carrots or 1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into thin strips

1/2 pound shelled walnuts, toasted

1/2 cup pomegranate paste diluted in 21/2 cups water or 4 cups fresh pomegranate juice

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground saffron threads, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water (optional)

GARNISH

1 cup fresh pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup walnuts, toasted

1) In a medium pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and stir -fry 5 minutes, until translucent. Add the chicken and fry for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Add the carrot strips and stir-fry 2 minutes longer.

2) Finely grind the toasted walnuts in a food processor. Add the salt, diluted pomegranate paste, sugar, cinnamon, and saffron water and mix well to create a smooth, creamy sauce. Transfer the sauce to the pot, cover and simmer for 40 minutes over very low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent the nuts from burning.

3) Taste the sauce and adjust for seasoning and thickness. This khoresht should be sweet and sour , and the consistency of heavy cream. Add diluted pomegranate paste for sourness or sugar for sweetness. If the sauce is too thick, thin it with warm water.

4) Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

5) Serve hot with rice.

(From "A Taste of Persia" by N. K. Batmanglij)