Fisinjan is a popular dish in the south of Azerbaijan and is a close relative of the Persian fesenjan. Fisinjan can be made with chicken, lamb, beef or meat balls.
Preparation time: 60 min
Cooking time: 60 min
- 1 kg/2.2 lbs chicken pieces and chicken stock
- or 1kg/2.2 lbs lamb or beef pieces and meat stock
- 2 onions
- 250 g/8 oz shelled walnuts
- 4-6 tbspns narsharab (pomegranate sauce) or reduced pomegranate juice (simmer the juice for 10 to 15 minutes until it thickens)
- 1/2 tspn cinnamon
- vegetable oil
- lemon juice/sugar to taste
- If using a whole chicken for this recipe, cut it into parts and then make stock with the carcass. Otherwise, use chicken pieces and chicken stock prepared earlier.
- Finely chop the walnuts – it is easiest to put them through the mincer or use a food processor.
- Fry the ground walnuts in oil, stirring constantly until they begin to brown (10 to 15 minutes). Drain off any excess oil.
- Chop the onion finely and fry in butter until soft. Rub salt & pepper into the chicken pieces and fry in the pan with the onions for 10 to 15 minutes. turning half way through. Take out of the pan with a slotted spoon and remove the skin when cool enough to handle.
- Return to the pan and add chicken stock, enough to cover the chicken pieces and cinnamon. Put on the lid and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the fried walnuts to the chicken and stock. Simmer for another 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the narsharab or pomegranate juice and continue to simmer until the chicken is cooked.
- Add salt. Taste to check the flavour, which should be tangy but neither too sweet nor too sharp. Add lemon juice if the fisinjan is too sweet, sugar if it is too sharp. Cooked fisinjan should be dark brown or purple.
- Serve with pilaf rice.