Friday, May 1, 2009

Persian Pomegranate-Walnut Chicken

This is a recipe I came across when I was trying to find something to use my POM juice in. I had 1 bottle left and I wanted to make something savory. This recipe sounded really interesting and pretty easy.
I got scared that my kids wouldn't like it because the combination of ingredients sounded a little strange. I also had a couple of visitors over for dinner, so I didn't know how it was going to go.
The sauce smelled amazing to me, but I didn't know if everyone else would like the cinnamon and other things going on in this dish.
Ok- here is the best part.
Everyone LOVED it!
And I don't just mean they thought it was good or ok or whatever.
My kids, my guests, my family- they all thought it was the best chicken dish we had ever had.
And we have had some really delicious chicken.
I didn't have to bribe anyone to eat it. I even had a couple of people who wanted to lick out the remaining sauce that was in the electric skillet. Kinda embarrassing, but I think someone did get a piece of bread and ate every last smidgen of the sauce.
I made a really delicious Muhammara Dip with this too and I will be posting that in a couple days.
The feedback I got from this dinner was awesome. I love it when that happens.

Persian Pomegranate-Walnut Chicken from Cooking Light
Based on the Persian dish fesenjan, this streamlined entrée features a sweet-tart sauce of pomegranate juice thickened with ground walnuts.
After toasting, cool the nuts completely before grinding.

1 cup walnuts, toasted
8 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (I used chicken stock)
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed (I omitted this because I didn't have any)
Dash of ground cinnamon
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Place walnuts in a food processor; process until finely ground. Set aside.

2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.

3. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, ground walnuts, broth, and the remaining ingredients except cilantro, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.
Yield: 8 servings

Up Next-2 ways with Quinoa for breakfast


Marie Rayner said...

That does sound delicious Mary Ann! I love that most of your recipes are quite healthy and low in fat.

CoffeeJitters (Judy Haley) said...

this is one of my favorite persian dishes. We call it fesenjan, I've also heard it pronounced fesenjoon. Add the pomegranate to taste because the intensity can vary and some like the dish very tart while others (me) prefer a less tart, more sweet dish. Thoroughly carmelizing the onions can often create enough sweet to reduce or eliminate the sugar. Definitely add the sugar to taste.

Raised Right said...

Delurking to say I think this sounds wonderful.. what did you serve with it?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like it was a big hit. It sounds delicious!

Tea said...

That does sound delicious Mary Ann! I love that most of your recipes are quite healthy.

Kerstin said...

Oh, that does look really good! It's always great when a dish is an unexpected hit!

The Blonde Duck said...

That is so cool that you took a risk and it paid off! I totally admire that you can create on the fly like that!

Pamela said...

I'm definitely going to try this one since I still have several bottles of the POM juice in the fridge! Looks delicious! And it sounds like a real winner, too!