One 3½-pound chicken
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cups ground walnuts
1/3 cup hot water
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 cups pomegranate juice or ½ cup pomegranate syrup
1 tbsp tomato paste
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 tbsp sugar
1. Brown the chicken in the vegetable oil and remove to drain on a paper towel.
2. Brown the chopped onion in the same oil.
3. In another pan, brown the walnuts, stirring constantly, without using any shortening. When brown, add the onion. Then slowly add the hot water so that the mixture does not stick. It should not be too liquid--more like a paste. Then add the lemon juice, pomegranate juice, tomato paste, salt, pepper, and sugar, stirring with a spoon. When well mixed, add the chicken.
4. Bring the mixture just to the point of boiling (not a hard boil). Decrease to a simmer and let cook, covered, until the chicken is very tender (about 45 minutes). If the sauce is not thick enough, remove the chicken and boil the liquid down until the desired thickness is reached, stirring as it cooks. When ready to serve, place the chicken on a dish, pour the sauce over, and serve with a chelou.