Aug 022012
 

This is a lovely dish that unfortunately just doesn’t photograph very well (or at least, not with my limited photography skills!).  It’s lucky it’s so tasty then!

I only discovered lentils, green puy lentils in particular, in the last 3 or 4 years.  However, they are now on high rotation in our household.  I find them enough of a meal on their own, perhaps with a poached egg on top, but this dish adds in a hearty piece of chicken as well.  It’s a great winter recipe for those cold nights that Brisbane has been having lately.  We live in an old Queenslander, which is built to be beautifully cool in summer, but has the added disadvantage of being absolutely freezing in winter.  Any excuse to turn on the oven is welcomed at this time of year.

I know I got this recipe from someone else’s website.  Unfortunately, when I printed it out it appears I failed to make a note of it.  So I apologise for not being able to give credit where credit is due!  Although, as usual, I have made quite a few changes to the original recipe, so this is my own spin.

Chicken and lentils

Serves 4-6
Prep time 30 minutes
Cook time 1 hour
Total time 1 hour, 30 minutes
Meal type Main Dish

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 rashers bacon or proscuitto (diced)
  • 4 chicken thighs or marylands (skin on)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 large onions (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (sliced)
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1-2 cup red cabbage (sliced)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • bunch parsley (diced)
  • 2 cups green puy lentils (rinsed well)
  • 3 cups chicken stock (more as needed)

Method

1 Preheat oven to 180*. Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat.
2 Fry off the bacon until golden. Remove and drain on paper towel.
3 Season chicken with salt and pepper and add, skin side down, to the pot (cook in batches if required).
4 Sear until golden on all sides over medium-high.
5 Remove chicken from pan and pour off all but about 2 tablespoons of fat.
6 Add onions, celery, carrot and garlic and cook over medium heat until onion becomes translucent.
7 Stir in the cumin and add the vinegar and half parsley, briefly saute.
8 Add the lentils, stock and cooked bacon.
9 Return the chicken to the pan and bring to a simmer on the stove.
10 Once simmering, cover with the lid and place the whole thing in the oven.
11 Cook for about an hour, until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid has absorbed (you may need to add more stock to get the lentils to the desired consistency). Add the red cabbage for the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
12 Season to taste and serve. I recommend crusty bread to mop up any excess lentil sauce.
Jul 032011
 

I’ve had this book for ages and enjoyed the stories surrounding the recipes.  However, this is the first time I have cooked from it.  I love lentils, I love how the French prepare lentils and I love a good poached or fried egg (with a runny yolk!) so here is my take on Elizabeth Bard’s recipe.  It makes a delicious, healthy, mid-week meal.

[singlepic id=240 w=500 h=333 mode=watermark float=center]

[recipe-show recipe=lentilles-au-vin-blanc]

Jul 282010
 

This one is truly delicious and a great winter dish.  We’ve made it once before with rosemary lamb sausages and a stronger beef stock and I found it a bit overpowering.  I think this version is a good balance of flavours.  If you’re not a sausage fan, the lentils on their own are delicious.  If you’re vegetarian, you could omit the bacon and perhaps add carrot or celery to give the lentils added depth.

I am a huge fan of puy lentils (and lentils generally).  I’m trying to become more adventurous and experiment more with different grains, seeds, beans and lentils.  I added chopped kale while the lentils were cooking, and topped with cherry tomatoes at the end.  You could try broccoli, spinach or silverbeet in place of the kale.  Although there are tomatoes cooked into the lentils, I think the cherry tomatoes added a nice sweetness and lightness to an otherwise very hearty dish.

Unfortunately I can’t credit the original version of this receipe – J transcribed it into a notebook some time ago and didn’t make a note of where he took it from.

[singlepic id=109 w=500 h=333 mode=watermark float=left]

[recipe-show recipe=sausagelentil]

May 302010
 

[singlepic id=95 w=500 h=333 mode=watermark float=left]

This recipe is adapted from one of my favourite cookbooks – Amanda Hesser’s “Cooking for Mr Latte”.  She calls it “Single Girl Salmon” and it is an example of how easy and satisfying it can be to cook yourself real meals – even if you’re only cooking for one.  This one is on high rotation in our kitchen, because it’s quick, easy and tastes deliciously decadent with a glass of wine.  The beauty of it is that it’s actually rather healthy!  I actually credit this dish with my newly discovered taste for lentils – particularly puy lentils, the tiny little green lentils from France.

To me, this is the ultimate in comfort food – hearty and filling whilst still being healthy.  It requires some thought and time in the kitchen, but certainly not hours – you can have it on the table in under 1 hr.  It’s beautiful with a glass of wine (white is my preference), and even if you’re dining alone, you can take the time to enjoy this fabulous meal.  Just because you are on your own for dinner, you don’t need to vegetate on the coach, scooping up icecream with potato chips, straight from the tub.  You deserve a fresh, fragrant and soul-satisfying meal!

[recipe-show recipe=salmon]