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The Hirshon Iranian Duck Khoresh-e Fesenjān – خورش فسنجان‎‎

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 3 cups walnuts, toasted
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 duck legs, skinned
  • Salt, to taste
  • 2 medium yellow onions, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 cup fresh pomegranate juice
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ***
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons of The Hirshon Fesenjān Baharat spice mixture, made as follows:
  • Blend 2 parts of each whole spice together in a bowl:
  • Black Pepper, Cumin, Coriander seed & Paprika
  • Next, add one part of all the following:
  • Clove, Nutmeg & Sea Salt
  • Now add 1/2 part of Cardamom seeds and Cinnamon
  • Grind all the spices together into a powder. Lightly toast until fragrant and darkens slightly. Keep the leftover blend in an air-tight container.
  • ***
  • Pomegranate seeds, for garnish


  1. Place the walnuts in a food processor and grind them until they resemble coarse meal. Combine the walnuts and stock in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, season the duck legs with salt and add to the pot. Cook the legs, turning, until they are light golden brown on both sides, about 20 minutes. Remove the legs, transfer them to a plate and set aside.
  3. Add the remaining oil. When the oil is hot, add the onions. Cook until the onions have softened, about 10 minutes. Add the turmeric and reserved duck legs. Cook until the turmeric becomes fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the walnut mixture and Baharat mix to the duck and bring to a simmer. Adjust the heat to medium-low. Place a wooden spoon into the pot so that it is touching the bottom of the pot and cover (thus keeping the lid ajar).
  5. Stir the stew every 20 minutes and skim any excess fat that rises to the top for about 1 hour. Add the molasses, pomegranate juice and sugar and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the stew has become deep brown in color and the duck is tender, about 1 hour. Taste and add sugar if necessary. The stew should be balanced between sweet and sour.
  6. Garnish the stew with pomegranate seeds and serve over basmati rice or crusty bread alongside a mixture of fresh herbs.
  7. Note: As with most stews, it’s best made the day before. Gently reheat before serving.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

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