Rubella's Fesenjan - Persian Chicken Pomegranate and Walnut Stew

(Serves 8)

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4 large bone-in chicken breasts, skinned

1/2 lb (approximately 2 cups) of raw walnut halves

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (Rubella doesn't add onions, but I like it that way.)

3/4 cup of pomegranate molasses

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons of salt

In a food processor, grind the walnuts into fine meal, taking care not to over-process lest you end up with walnut butter.

In a large saucepan, sauté the ground walnuts over medium heat along with the chopped onion until the walnuts start to release some oil and become darker in color. By that time, the onion will have become soft and translucent as well.

Arrange the chicken breasts in the pan in a single layer, bone side down.

Drizzle pomegranate molasses and sprinkle the salt all over the chicken.

Add one cup of water to the pan and bring it all to a gentle boil; cover, lower the heat slightly, and let the stew simmer gently for 20 minutes.

Flip the chicken pieces and scrape the walnut sauce off the bottom of the pan to prevent scorching; continue to simmer gently for another 20 minutes.

Turn off the heat and transfer the chicken to a separate bowl; allow the meat to cool.

Once the chicken pieces are cool enough to handle, remove the bones and shred the meat into bite-sized pieces.

Return the shredded chicken to the pan and stir to allow the chicken to be fully covered with the sauce; heat through.

Correct seasoning with more salt, if necessary. If the stew is too acidic for your taste, a pinch of sugar will help balance it out somewhat.

Serve warm over saffron rice pilaf.