Hmm. Chicken, to me, while a reliable protein source, is pretty uninteresting to me for cooking. There are enough people out there who can make fried chicken in their sleep better than I, so to keep things interesting (for me), I tend toward the less typical cuisines when cooking this fowl.

So when I saw a recipe from New York Times this week, I was all over it. And as I had a goodly amount of pomegranate molasses just sitting there in my fridge awaiting inspiration, all I really needed to pick up were some more walnuts.

Fesenjan is apparently a special holiday dish in Iran, and can be as complicated to make as there are people who like to make things more difficult than they actually need to be. And then, there are the simpler approaches.

Alas, this time I chose for a middle of the road attack, and began with the sauce in this manner. I toasted the walnuts for about 6 minutes at 350F, then pulverized them in a food processor. This was added to a Dutch oven along with some chicken broth and about a cup of diced onions to simmer, combine their flavors, and somehow get the oil out of the walnuts to flavor the sauce. After browning and seasoning the chicken thighs, I added them along with a bit of diced squash, some saffron steeped in hot water, a shake of cinnamon, a cup of pomegranate molasses, and a light sprinkling of salt.

This cooks for perhaps 30-40 minutes.

Oh, hell. Let’s cut to the chase…it was sweet and tart at the same time, I could barely taste the chicken, and the presence of the sweet/tangy pomegranate sauce totally dominated the flavors.

I must have done something wrong because I can’t imagine Iranians thinking that this dish is so amazing. Bah! And here I was in such a roll. Well, nothing last forever, exactly, even my streak of successful cooking.

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