Fesenjan (Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Chicken) for Multicooker or InstantPotandreg; Recipe

Photo of Fesenjan (Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Chicken) for Multicooker or InstantPotandreg;

Fesenjan (Persian Pomegranate and Walnut Chicken) for Multicooker or InstantPotandreg;

Serves 6

This popular Persian stew gets its flavor from pomegranate molasses, ground walnuts, and warm spices. Pressure cooking speeds up the braising process and makes meltingly tender chicken.


  • 2 cups walnut pieces
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut in half
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or vegetable oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon honey, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate arils, for serving
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Spread walnuts on sheet pan. Roast until fragrant and toasty, about 6 to 8 minutes, shaking pan a couple times during cooking. Cool. Set aside half the nuts for garnish. Pulse remaining nuts in food processor until coarsely ground. (Don't over-process or you will make nut butter.)
  3. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Using sauté or browning function, heat ghee in multicooker until shimmering. Add half the chicken in a single layer and brown on all sides. Remove to a plate. Repeat with remaining chicken and set aside.
  4. Add onion to multicooker and sauté until soft and golden, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add turmeric, cinnamon, and cardamom; stir for about 1 minute, until fragrant. Add ground walnuts, chicken stock, pomegranate molasses, and 1 tablespoon honey. Stir, scraping bottom of pot, to dislodge and mix in any browned bits.
  5. Return browned chicken and any accumulated juices on plate to multicooker.
  6. To pressure cook, lock lid in place and set pressure release valve to seal. Select high pressure-cook function and cook 15 minutes.
  7. Let pressure release naturally 10 minutes. Manually release remaining pressure according to manufacturer's directions. Remove lid, allowing steam to escape away from you.
  8. Transfer chicken to warm serving dish. If sauce is thin, set multicooker to sauté function and simmer until reduced and thickened. Taste sauce and add more honey or salt, as needed. Spoon sauce over chicken.
  9. Serve hot, topped with reserved walnuts, pomegranate arils, and fresh cilantro. Pairs well with rice or cauliflower.


Amount Per Serving (based on 6 servings)
Calories: 540
Fat: 35 g
Saturated Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol: 135 mg
Sodium: 530 mg
Carbohydrates: 21 g
fiber: 4 g
Sugar: 12 g
Protein: 37 g
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