If you’ve started the meal with a Middle Eastern mezze, and are looking for a big sharing dish to put in the middle of the table for the next course, then this fesenjan stew recipe is perfect. The walnuts make the fesenjan sauce deliciously rich, while the pomegranate molasses create an exotic tanginess in a similar way that preserved lemons cut through the richness of a lamb tagine.

It’s not the pretties of dishes, but the taste certainly makes up for anything it’s lacking in looks. We made the fesenjan stew recipe with chicken legs – the juicy brown meat is a good vehicle for the strong flavours – but duck is another traditional option for fesenjan.

Persian Fesenjan Stew Recipe
(serves 4)

2 onions, diced
4 chicken legs
500ml chicken stock
100g walnuts, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons pomegranate molasses
1 teaspoon cornflour

1. Sweat the onions until translucent.
2. Add the chicken legs to the pan, and brown either side
3. Pour 450ml of the chicken stock into the pan. Bring to a simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, lightly toast the walnuts, and then grind in a food processer. Add the remaining 50ml of chicken stock, so that it becomes a paste. Then stir in the pomegranate molasses and the cornflour.
5. Remove the chicken legs from the stock and use two forks to shred the meat off the bone.
6. Stir the walnut paste into the pan-full of stock, and simmer for five minutes. Add the shredded chicken, and then serve with saffron rice.

For more ideas of what to cook with pomegranate molasses, visit: Spotlight on pomegranate molasses