Persian Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnut Sauce

From our story The Last Walnut Grove

By Devany Vickery-Davidson

Illustration by Helen Krayenhoff


Serves 6

4 tablespoons olive oil
3 pounds chicken thighs and breasts
2 large red onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
2 tablespoons tomato sauce
2 cups walnuts, chopped
3 cups pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cardamom
½ teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest
2-3 tablespoons pomegranate syrup
Arils from 1 pomegranate
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Sauté chicken pieces until brown on all sides. Remove chicken to a dish and keep warm in a low oven as you sauté the onion in the skillet. As onion starts to turn golden, add garlic and sauté for a minute or two.

Add tomato sauce and sauté for a few more minutes, then add walnuts, pomegranate juice, seasonings, lemon zest, and pomegranate syrup. Cover and simmer for about 35 minutes.

Arrange sautéed chicken over sauce and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

Serve over basmati rice and garnish with pomegranate arils and cilantro.