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Persian Chicken with Pomegranate and Walnuts

Scott Phillips

Servings: 4 to 6

The slow cooker makes this classic Middle Eastern dish a breeze, mostly because the spices mellow slowly into a sweet, aromatic sauce. The walnuts should be finely chopped into bits smaller than grains of rice, or even ground if you want a somewhat smoother sauce.


  • 1-1/2 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken thighs, halved
  • 2 oz. (4 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups toasted walnut pieces, very finely chopped or ground
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • Fresh pomegranate seeds for garnish


  • Mix the sugar, cinnamon, turmeric, nutmeg, allspice, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper in a bowl. Add the chicken and coat evenly. Set aside.
  • Melt the butter in a large skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the walnuts and continue cooking, stirring almost constantly, for 2 minutes, until the nuts are lightly browned.
  • Stir in the pomegranate molasses, then scrape the contents of the skillet into a 6-quart slow cooker. Spoon the spiced chicken on top of the cooked onion mixture, scraping any spices that cling to the bowl into the slow cooker.
  • Cover and cook on low until the chicken is tender and cooked through, 3-1/2 to 5 hours. Season to taste with salt, stir in half of the pomegranate seeds, and garnish with the remainder. Serve.


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Reviews (10 reviews)

  • MontanaGardener | 03/23/2021

    Excellent recipe except for the slow cooker part, which could be due to using an Instant Pot (seemed to have trouble heating it enough to cook). Moved everything into a covered braiser after 1.5 hours to finish up the chicken (drumsticks instead of thighs) and added vegetables. Will definitely make again and try in our real slow cooker or in the oven with the braiser.

  • chitownguy | 01/07/2019

    I like this but I think I like Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken Thighs better.

  • dgper | 12/17/2018

    Just made this. I agree the slow cooker time for boneless skinless thighs is too long. I stopped my slow cooker at 3 hrs. and probably could have stopped at 2 1/2 or so for more tender meat. This was still a delicious recipe. I used the suggestion to add a bit of acidity with a few splashes of red wine vinegar which was really nice. Served with some chopped parsley. I also understand about not being crazy about chicken thighs due to some texture issues. I think this would be fine with boneless skinless breasts because it makes almost a braising liquid as it cooks. Maybe add some broth and watch cook time so meat doesn't dry?

  • cook1000 | 12/03/2017

    Is there anyway to use breasts instead of thighs? Maybe skip the slow cooker for shorter cooktime in oven? I find dark meat texture unappetizing. It seems all the recipes I think I would like uses thighs. Sigh....

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