Chicken and Walnut Stew my way
Note: The original recipe had the very long process for cooking the walnuts after browning the chicken. That was backwards to me although it would have helped if I had read the whole recipe first. This is not something you can make after work for dinner. Make on a rainy weekend or the day before you plan on eating it.
2 cups walnuts
1 cup pomegranate molasses
sugar to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
5 small boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite size pieces
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
~3/4 tablespoon ground turmeric
1/2 large red onion, thinly sliced
~1 cup chicken stock
~1 cup white wine
5 ounces fresh spinach, finely chopped
Process walnuts in a food processor into a very fine paste, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a large pot, and cook over medium low heat; stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Stir in 4 cups water, and bring to a simmer over medium heat; cook, until light brown and thickened, about 2 hours. Cool and refrigerate overnight. Skim off oil and reheat over medium heat. Add molasses and sugar; cook until thickened once more, about 25 minutes.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper, and add to skillet; cook, turning, until browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; set aside. Add turmeric and onion; cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add stock and wine and deglaze the skillet. Simmer until liquid is reduced and chicken is cooked, about 20-30 minutes. Add spinach; cook until wilted, about 1 minute.
Add walnut and pomegranate mixture to the chicken. Stir and simmer for a couple of minutes to thoroughly incorporate. Serve with basmati rice or flat bread.
I had really high hopes for this dishes but the pomegranate molasses overpowered everything for me. Mike liked it much more than I did. It was not inedible but I could not taste turmeric or even much of the walnuts. I've decided to deconstruct this dish and make it again. I will definitely blog about my 2nd attempt. I like the ingredients too much not to give it a try. Since I did change things if you are interested in this dish check out the original recipe on Saveur, maybe something I did made the difference. Try it your way and let me know how it comes out. Enjoy!