Persian Pomegranate-Walnut Chicken

This dish was really flavorful and different. The chicken stayed very moist, and it was another great way to use pomegranate. I served it over basmati rice and had a little plain yogurt on the side. Yum!

Persian Pomegranate-Walnut Chicken

Persian Pomegranate-Walnut Chicken
Cooking Light April 2008

Based on the Persian dish fesenjan, this streamlined entrée features a sweet-tart sauce of pomegranate juice thickened with ground walnuts. After toasting, cool the nuts completely before grinding.

1 cup walnuts, toasted
8 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 ¾ teaspoons kosher salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
Cooking spray
½ cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves, garlic minced
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 teaspoons sugar
⅛ teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
Dash of ground cinnamon
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

1. Place walnuts in a food processor; process until finely ground. Set aside.

2. Sprinkle chicken with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add half of chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with remaining chicken.

3. Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes. Add remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, ground walnuts, broth, and the remaining ingredients except cilantro, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups (about 15 minutes), stirring occasionally. Return chicken to pan; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Garnish with cilantro sprigs, if desired.

Yield 8 servings (serving size: 1 chicken breast half and about 3 tablespoons sauce)

Nutritional notes:
CALORIES 299(31% from fat); FAT 10.3g (sat 1.3g,mono 1.6g,poly 6.4g); PROTEIN 41.7g; CHOLESTEROL 99mg; CALCIUM 41mg; SODIUM 585mg; FIBER 1.2g; IRON 1.7mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9g

MacGourmet Rating: 4 Stars

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