Ground Walnut & Pomegranate Chicken Stew

I tried to take a pretty photo so you wouldn’t gasp in horror, because if you’re thinking it, just know you’re not the first: this dish has a tinge that can make you think of something you’d rather forget while you’re eating. It’s been a longstanding joke in Iranian culture, which is where this recipe comes from. But it’s just so delicious that I promise you’ll forget all about its color after one bite!

Once you’ve gotten over this fact hopefully you will start making it. And fortunately for everyone it is a cinch to make!  We start by grinding our walnuts in a food processor.  I swear this isn’t a plug but I’m so ridiculously happy that I have a Cuisinart CSB-77 SmartStick Hand Blender.  Basically, it’s everything you could ever need in one: an immersion blender, an electric whisk, and a food processor.  It even comes with a nice measuring cup!  So anyway, put your walnuts in a processor:

And grind them up until they’re almost powdery.

Next you add some rich and seductive pomegranate juice, along with a pinch of cinnamon, and whiz it all up.

Once this stew clincher is made, go ahead and get started on the chicken. Heat up some oil and fry your onion.

Once the onion is softened, add the chicken until it’s nicely browned all over.

Add the pomegranate mixture and a touch of sugar, and voila! Your delicious meal is almost ready.

I found a recipe similar to this one on which gives a calorie count of 432 for one serving. However I made mine with just chicken tenderloin pieces (cut up chicken breast) so I think the calorie count will be even less.

The pomegranate seeds are optional (they’re really just there for decoration) but they’re so pretty that I think you’ll enjoy including them.  Plus they taste so sweet and are so high in nutritional value that it’s kind of a like a win-win for everybody involved, aka you!

Ground Walnut and Pomegranate Chicken Stew – makes 1 serving
adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij’s recipe in New Food of Life

  • 1/2-cup ground walnuts, about 2 ounces/55 grams whole shelled walnuts
  • 3/4 cup pomegranate juice, or more as needed
  • 1/8-teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion or 1 shallot, chopped
  • 8 ounces chicken breast, thigh, or leg, washed, dried, and sprinkled with salt and pepper.
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or more as needed
  • 1 handful of pomegranate seeds (optional)

1. Finely grind the walnuts in a food processor.
2. Add pomegranate juice and cinnamon, and mix until well combined.
3. In a medium to large saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat.
4. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
5. Add the chicken and cook until browned on both sides, about 4-5 minutes/side depending on the chicken’s thickness.
6. Add the pomegranate-walnut mixture and the sugar and bring to a low simmer. Cover and cook until the sauce has thickened slightly, about 20 minutes.  If you would like the sauce to be even thicker, remove the lid and simmer an additional 5-10 minutes.
7. Check the taste – if it is too sour, add more sugar as desired. If it is too sweet, add more pomegranate juice as desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a plate and garnish with pomegranate seeds if desired.

5 thoughts on “Ground Walnut & Pomegranate Chicken Stew

    • Yes, almost all of these recipes can be doubled, especially one like this, which would only require you to purchase more chicken and walnuts. If you’re making this for two, you could also buy a cornish hen or a small chicken and braise it in the sauce (either whole or cut up into parts). That is a great way to add additional flavor.

What Do You Think?