if u were a gifted/talented child who grew into an anxious adult w fragile self worth and a perfectionist streak that makes u abandon things if ur not good at them immediately clap ur hands
Obviously, the elegant diction of that statement is internetty to say the least, but my first thought was “there are others?!” Given the 200k some odd notes on the post, it looks like I am not alone.
Starting a food blog when I was a good chef but a deeply mediocre photographer was, thus, pretty challenging for me. My recipes are solid, I stand by that, but the pictures… oy… those early pictures… I cringe. I mean jeez, I even cringe at some of my current pictures! But- slowly- I am getting better.
It’s only because Chelsea and I are in this together that we are both compelled to keep going when we feel like maybe we should throw in the towel. When you make a stupendous dish and the pictures look like barf, it sucks. I mean, you still get to eat the delicious food so it’s not a total wash, but still…
This khoresh is one of my all time favourite recipes. I adore it.
Sadly, it’s a brown stew, so it’s pretty tricky to sex-up for pictures. Thank goodness it uses fresh pomegranates or I would have given up staging it ages ago. This probably won’t even be my last attempt at posting this unbelievably delicious recipe, but it’ll do for now.
Walnuts, squash, chicken, pomegranate, cinnamon, braising… everything about this recipe screams Fall. It’s a season in a bowl but- amazingly- it’s the farthest thing from pumpkin spice (despite containing squash and cinnamon).
Like a lot of very simple recipes, the small handful of ingredients synthesize to become so much more than the sum of their parts. Beautiful braised chicken in a tart, citrusy, savoury stew. Stunning textures: meltingly tender meat, creamy squash, rich walnuts and bursts of crunch and tang from the fresh pomegranate arils.
It really is sexy, even for a brown stew. Trust me on this one.
|Khoresh-e Fesenjān - Persian Pomegranate Stew with Chicken, Squash & Walnuts|| || |
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 10 boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled and cubed (~1 small squash)
- 2 cups walnuts, ground*
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp saffron
- ½ cup pomegranate paste dissolved in 2½ cups warm water
- 1 fresh pomegranate, arils
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss cubed butternut squash in a slash of olive oil and spread out in a single, even layer on a large baking sheet. Bake for 35 minutes, until lightly browned and tender.
- Heat a glug of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and salt and cook until the onions have become soft and translucent. Add the chicken thighs and stir, cooking until the chicken is browned.
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine the ground walnuts, cinnamon and saffron. In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, combine the pomegranate paste with the warm water and stir until the paste is completely dissolved. Pour the pomegranate mixture in to the walnut mixture and stir gently to combine.
- Add the browned squash to the chicken pot and mix. Add the pomegranate/walnut mixture to the chicken pot and stir well. Bring the pot to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
- Immediately before serving, sprinkle fresh pomegranate arils in to the fully cooked stew. If you are making this ahead of time, reserve the arils until just before serving- the taste and texture will remain the same in your leftovers if the arils are left in for a length of time (and this does make spectacular leftovers!) but the bright red colour will leach out of them- it's just an aesthetic thing, so no biggie if it happens. Serve overtop rice or Persian chelo- a rice dish with a crispy crust on the bottom (heavenly!).