• 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless chicken or duck leg and thigh quarters, skinned and fat removed, cut into pieces; or boneless chicken or duck breast, cut into 1/2- inch thick slices
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups peeled butternut squash, in 1-inch cubes (optional)
  • ½ lb. walnuts, toasted and cooled
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2-½ cups pomegranate juice, or 1/2 cup pomegranate molasses, diluted in 2 cups water
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons sugar (optional)
  • Pinch of saffron, dissolved in 1 tbsp hot water
  • Garnish
    • 1 cup pomegranate seeds (about 1 pomegranate's worth, optional)
    • ½ cup walnut pieces, toasted


Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the chicken and saute until browned on all sides, turning as necessary. Remove and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the pan. When hot, add the onions and optional squash and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, for 20 minutes.

Finely grind the toasted walnuts in a food processor. Add the salt, pomegranate juice, optional sugar and the saffron water. Mix well. Adjust seasoning and transfer to the skillet. Add the chicken, cover, and simmer for 1 hour over low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent the nuts from burning.

If the sauce is too thick, add warm water to thin it. Taste the sauce and adjust for seasoning and thickness. The stew should be sweet and sour. Add pomegranate juice or molasses if you want the sauce to be more sour, or sugar if you want it sweeter.

Garnish each serving with pomegranate seeds and a few toasted walnuts. Serve over long-grain white rice, if desired.

Nutritional Information
PER SERVING: 410 calories, 18 g protein, 25 g carbohydrate, 29 g fat (3 g saturated), 46 mg cholesterol, 589 mg sodium, 2 g fiber
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