- 2 cups ground walnuts
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 to 6 bone-in, skin-on chicken pieces
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 cups pomegranate molasses
- 3 cups water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 to 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground saffron, dissolved in 1 tablespoon hot water
In a food processor, pulse walnuts until finely ground. (Don’t overdo it, or you will have walnut butter.) Set aside.
In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté chicken pieces with olive oil until both sides are lightly browned, about 5 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside. Discard all or part of the excess fat from the pan.
In the same pot, add the butter and sauté the onions over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the ground walnuts and sauté for an additional 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Return the chicken pieces to the pan and mix well. Turn the flame to high and add the pomegranate molasses, water, lemon juice, sugar and salt.
Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat to low, and allow to simmer for 1 hour. It’s only during this slow cooking process that the natural oil is released from walnuts, which creates this lustrous creamy sauce. Stir occasionally.
The stew should be a dark rich brown-maroon color at this point. Remove from heat, stir in the saffron water and set aside for 10 minutes before serving.