Pomegranate Stew With Chicken (Khoresh Fesenjan) Recipe

L.A. chef Niki Tehranchi shares a favorite stew recipe inspired by her Persian upbringing.

Photo: Winnie Ma

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L.A. chef Niki Tehranchi shares a favorite stew recipe inspired by her Persian upbringing.

2 tsp olive oil
½ pound chicken, cut up into 1-inch cubes
¼ white onion, thinly sliced
3 oz walnuts, toasted and finely ground in a food processor
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 cups pomegranate juice
1 T pomegranate molasses
1/8 tsp cardamom
2 tsp sugar, if needed


Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken and onion in skillet, and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Get a nice sear on the chicken to add flavor and texture, and a golden brown caramelization on the onions. Mix in the ground walnuts, salt, pomegranate juice, pomegranate molasses and cardamom. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The texture should be that of a chili or hearty stew. If the sauce becomes almost solidified, stir in ¼ cup warm water. Mix in sugar, adjust seasoning to taste, and simmer 15 minutes more. Serve over steamed jasmine rice. Makes 2 servings.

Meet the Triathlete-Chef

After a brief stint as an attorney, Niki Tehranchi fulfilled a long-held dream of becoming a chef and opening her own cooking school. “Life’s too short for you not to do what you love,” she says. As a Persian, Tehranchi loves to cook Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisine, and the recipe she shared is one of her favorites—her mom used to make it when Tehranchi was growing up. However, the cuisine at her cooking school, Eatz, varies from sushi to Italian to steakhouse. When Tehranchi moved from New York to L.A. to start her business, triathlon was a vehicle to meet new people. She joined Team in Training for the coaching advice and camaraderie, and raced her first triathlon in 2010. This season, she’ll be racing the Wildflower Long Course Triathlon and her first Ironman, Coeur d’Alene.

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