Fesenjan Chicken, a traditional Persian dish made with walnuts and pomegranate molasses, makes for a nice Saturday night entertaining dish that comes together quickly when using a slow cooker (though it can alternately be braised, covered on the stove top as well!). Traditionally served with Basmati rice, I opted for farro, cooked, and then studded with roasted vegetables as the accompaniment to this tasty, hearty dish.
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken thighs
2 T. ea. butter and olive oil
2 medium chopped onions
2 c. walnut pieces
1 bay leaf
1/2 t. turmeric
1/4 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. cardamom
1 1/2 c. chicken stock
1/4 c. + 2 T pomegranate molasses
2 T. honey
Brown off the thighs (about 1 1/2 mins. per side) in butter and olive oil mixture in fry pan over medium high heat. Remove to plate and add onions to same pan and saute until translucent. Meanwhile, in second saute pan, dry toast walnut pieces and then finely chop them by using the pulsate button of a food processor. Place thighs, onions and walnut pieces in slow cooker; add spices and chicken stock to vessel and set temperature to slow cook.
After four hours, remove chicken thighs, onions and walnuts with a slotted spoon. Cover and keep warm. Pour the remaining liquid (sauce) from the slow cooker into a medium saucepan; add pomegranate molasses and honey. Bring to boil and reduce on medium heat until of desired thickness (about a half hour), stirring occasionally. Taste and adjust sauce seasoning; adding more molasses to further tartness or more honey for sweetness. Pour sauce over chicken; serve with pomegranate seeds as a garnish and basmati rice pilaf (or whatever grain you'd prefer!). Makes 4 servings.