On Wednesday evening Alberto was caught up at work and I had nothing planned so I thought I’d cook us a spot of dinner. I thought I’d try this tasty Middle-Eastern stew from my Persiana cook book as it involved using the pomegranate molasses that I picked up at the weekend.
The end result is tasty with a rich, thick sauce. It is a little sweet though – I think that next time I might cut down on the amount of molasses.
It always pays to pay attention to the recipe too – I skim read and spotted that the chicken had to be cooked for 2 hours, but failed to spot that the walnuts had to be cooked for an hour first! Ooops In reality I was able to cook the walnuts for about 40 minutes and then the chicken for an hour and a half rather than two. Still – always read the recipe first! 🙂 I think my confusion was partly due to the layout of the recipe in the book so I’ve switched things around here.
2 large onions, diced
1 tablespoon of plain flour
600g of walnuts, finely ground in a food processor (easier said that done – the kept slipping under the blades!)
8 bone-in chicken thighs
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.2 litres of cold water
3 tablespoons of caster sugar
450ml of pomegranate molasses
Seeds from 1 pomegranate
In a large saucepan toss in the plain flour and toast, over a medium heat, until pale beige. Add the ground walnuts and cook through.
Add the water to the walnuts and stir well. Bring the mixture to a slow boil, then cover with a lid and allow to cook for an hour over a low-medium heat. Once the oil from the walnuts is released and starts to float on the surface of the water then you know that they are cooked.
Whilst the walnuts are cooking heat some oil in another large saucepan and fry the onions until translucent and lightly browned.
Season the chicken thighs on each side, then turn up the heat and add them to the pan. Brown on both sides. Once the onions are cooked and the chicken browned turn off the heat and set aside until walnuts are ready.
Once the walnuts are cooked add the caster sugar to the walnut water and then pour in the pomegranate molasses, slowly, stirring well.
Once this is done, pour the walnuts and molasses over the chicken and onions, return to the heat, cover and cook, over a medium heat, for about 2 hours, stirring regularly to prevent burning and sticking.
The resulting stew should be thick, dark and rich. Serve with steamed or boiled rice and garnished with pomegranate seeds.