Friday, August 20, 2004


I learned to make fesenjoon the other night. Essentially a pomegranate and walnut stew, the version I learned was made with chicken thighs:

Chop two medium onions sweat them in oil for a few minutes, next add skin-on chicken thighs and allow to brown. When the chicken has browned a bit, add pomegranate syrup (not grenadine), ground, toasted walnuts and sugar or honey. Thin the mixture with water and allow to simmer until chicken falls off the bone. The pom syrup is quite tart, so check up on it throughout, and adjust with more sugar or honey. Serve over rice.

All in all, it was a very simple stew to make. It could have been cacciatore had we used red wine and tomatoes, but instead, it became middle eastern comfort food. Exotic? Maybe. Difficult? Not at all. Something that I learned early on about cooking is that most of the things that I enjoyed, or wanted to learn to cook were, essentially, peasant food. With that in mind, how hard can they really be? That's not to say there's a lower level of care taken in preparation, but just because something is unfamiliar and tasty, it doesn't have to be difficult. Most recipes--baking aside--don't intimidate me because I figure I've made something like it at some point, even if the ingredients are totally different.


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