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Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fessenjan (Persian Walnut-Pomegranate Glaze with Roast Duck)

The Zafarani Polow (Persian Saffron Rice) made a colorful bed for the Fessenjan (Persian Walnut-Pomegranate Glaze with Cornish Game Hens), but a dusting of pomegranate seeds from my tree and the dish became a thing of beauty.

Fessenjan Roast Duck 1

I adapted my Fessenjan recipe for the glaze and used my Baked Chicken recipe to roast duck for the first time. The glaze worked perfectly and the skin was incredibly flavorful while the meat was moist and succulent. It was so good that after eating dinner, and eating slices of roast duck skin, my friend stayed around and ate a second dinner. :)

Fessenjan Roast Duck 2

Fessenjan (Persian Walnut-Pomegranate Glaze with Roast Duck)

For 1 roast duck, you'll need:
1 tsp salt per pound of duck
1 medium onion
1/2 cup walnuts, or more according to taste
1/2 cup pomegranate glaze/syrup, or more according to taste

(Pomegranate glaze can be found at Middle Eastern grocery stores, or Trader Joe's. Double the amount and strain out the seeds if using whole pomegranates.)

Wash and rinse the duck. Prick the duck's skin with a fork so the fat can render out while baking. Make sure you're only pricking the skin, not the meat.

Then rub 1 tsp of salt per pound of duck all over the outside skin and inner cavity. Set aside.

Puree the onion and 1/2 cup walnuts until a thick paste is formed. Add 1/2 cup pomegranate syrup. Mixture will still be pretty thick. Rub all over the duck again. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for an hour for the duck to absorb the marinade.

Duck is very fatty, so it's best to roast it on an oven rack that holds the duck above the pan so the fat drips out. Bake duck breast side down at 425 degrees for 30 minutes. Turn over so breast side is up, adjust temperature down to 350 degrees and cook for another hour until skin is crisp and golden.

After the duck is done, allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before carving. Otherwise, the juices will all run out.

Don't throw away the fat or the carcass, you can use them to make Duck Fat-Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary and Rice Porridge with Preserved Duck Eggs.



  1. Your duck looks amazingly flavorful, even before you said that it was!

  2. Oh gosh! I love a good duck! That looks wonderful.. and roast duck is quite tricky to cook! Well done!

    btw- I tagged u. Please come over to my blog. =)

  3. I love Persian food and I've never tried making it at home! That duck looks mouthwateringly delicious.

  4. You and I have already flirted over fesanjan, so I'm just gonna say, "Mmmmm..."

  5. Persian food? Wow, you've really got some range WC. This looks amazing.

  6. Nikki,

    I'm sure once I get caught up, it'll be freaky eating again. :)

    Thanks. Ah, I'm quite bad with doing memes.

    I live in fear of what you'll do to my recipe. ;)

    That's all you better say! You're a married man now! ;)

    Ah, my cooking is based on what I eat, so my palate is a bit varied. :)

  7. Hey! It's awesome to see how interested you are in making Persian food. Although the dish wasn't strictly traditional in the way it was cooked and how the ingredients were manipulated, it does look like such an appetizing interpretation. Good luck with your future inspirations!

    - Sara

  8. This dish looks so yummy! I have not tried roasting ducks yet, but this dish just might inspire me. :)

  9. Ning,
    This is one of my very favorite recipes so I hope you do try it some day!


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