#111: Iran – Fesenjan (Chicken Pomegranate Stew) and Barberi Bread

Over the last several weeks it’s been nearly impossible to miss the stories of the women of Iran and their courageous efforts in a turbulent time. I’d been wanting to cook from this country for a while and this seemed like an appropriate time to explore some of their culinary traditions. Interestingly enough, through my research, I kept coming back to a dish I’d made once before, or at least something reminiscent of it. Fesenjan is a stew comprised of chicken and ground walnuts with the very special addition of pomegranate molasses. I think boneless, skinless chicken thighs are perfect for this recipe and with the slow cooking method they just fall apart on the fork. So tender and just a fabulous stew. For a little color, you can top with pomegranate arils. We enjoyed some leftovers two days later and I think the stew might have been even more flavorful. But as Matt said, bottom line, this was just a REALLY good dish.

I also decided to make Barberi bread to accompany this meal. I don’t make a lot of bread, but this seemed pretty straightforward. I will say the end result was a bit puffier than pictured in the cookbook, but I think it’s because I struggle to make the dough flatten out properly. Perhaps it was too glutenous? It’s always a bit of trial and error for me when I work with yeast, but we loved the taste of this bread. I used some sesame seeds, olive oil, and zaatar seasoning for flavor, and we used the leftovers for sandwiches this week!

Recipes I used:

Fesenjan: https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/fesenjan_persian_chicken_stew_with_walnut_and_pomegranate_sauce/

Barberi Bread: from Eden Grinspahn’s cookbook “Eating Out Loud”

Overall Level of Effort: 1 for the stew, 2 for the bread.

Skill Level: Beginner/Intermediate

Would Make it Again? Absolutely

Additional Notes: If you like chicken stew and something a little more sweet than spicy, definitely make this dish. I loved the flavor and once you give the instructions a good read, it is fairly uncomplicated to make and well worth the slow cook time.

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