The traditional Iranian stew with chicken and the deep flavors of pomegranate molasses and walnuts, now made easy right in the crock-pot! Slow Cooker Fesenjan Chicken is a hearty gluten-free & paleo dinner recipe that will warm the belly and soul!
This delicious Iranian dish has been a longtime coming! A family friend had told me about Fesenjan about 3 or 4 years ago. She raved about the indulgent, rich, deep flavors of the pomegranate molasses and rich nutty walnuts, cooked down to flavor the chicken. Traditionally cooked in a stew pot for hours, letting the flavors infuse and develop. My mouth was watering just listening to her description of the dish and how much she and her family loved it.
Don’t ask why it took me so long to make it; just know that I did eventually make it and it was…amazing. Now, you know me and chicken. Grill it up or slow cook it, baby! Since we’re in the cold winter season right now and this dish needs to be cooked for a nice few hours to bring out ALL the comfort food vibes, the slow cooker was the winner. Takes out all the fuss of watching a pot on the stove. Just prep it, dump it, and let that slow cooker do its magic!
Let me give you the 411 on the pomegranate molasses. You can buy it, but honestly, it’s expensive and only is specialty ethnic stores or possibly online. Too much of a hassle for one dish when this is a much easier method. Homemade! Yes, homemade and it is a whole lot easier than you’re thinking. You’ll be a pomegranate molasses ninja by the end of this post. All you need to do is cook down some pomegranate juice with some sugar and a touch of lemon juice. This is something you’ll need to prep before putting everything in the slow cooker, but you can always make a big batch to keep on hand. It’s great for topping pancakes, porridge, salmon, eh…everything!
And the walnuts! I don’t even really care for walnuts, but they totally transform in the Fesenjan. This creamy, nutty, soft but crunchy bite with the tender fall-apart chicken. Guys. This is dinner. This is the dinner you’ll be eating ALL winter long. Stick to your ribs, soothing, delicious. Serve this gluten-free and paleo stew over some rice (traditionally) or potatoes. I feel like this could be a really good filling for something like peppers, eggplant, even zucchini boats!
Slow Cooker Fesenjan Chicken
- Pomegranate Molasses:*
- 2 Cups 100% Pomegranate Juice
- ¼ Cup Erythritol
- 1 TB Fresh Lemon Juice
- Fesenjan Chicken:
- 4 Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 1¼ Cup Chopped Walnuts
- 1 Cup Chopped Sweet Onion
- 1 Cup Unsalted Chicken Stock
- ½ Cup Pomegranate Molasses
- ½ Tsp Cinnamon
- ½ Tsp Black Pepper
- ½ Tsp Turmeric
- Fresh Mint Leaves (to top)
- To make the pomegranate molasses, bring the pomegranate juice, sugar, and lemon juice to a boil in a pot on the stove. Reduce to simmer for 1 hour or until the mixture becomes thick. Allow to cool before storing in a container in the fridge.
- To make the chicken, add all stew ingredients to a large slow cooker, cover, and cook on low for 6 hours.
- You can shred the chicken directly in the slow cooker before serving or shred each individual chicken breast per serving.
If you’re reading this recipe in real time (i.e. the week I post it), this dish is perfect for New Years! Why? Pomegranate! You know pomegranate brings all the luck in the new year and always is my choice if I’m going to have a “good luck food”. So that just means you’re obligated now to make this Slow Cooker Fesenjan Chicken! Luck, warmth, comfort, deliciousness; it’s everything you could ever want (or need)!
So tell me:
+ What’s a dish that took you forever to try, but when you did, you fell in love?
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