Saturday, 8 October 2011

Chicken with mustard & herb lentils

In case you don’t know, October is “Vegetarian awareness month”, well certainly in America anyway. Now, I had a sort of health MOT type thing recently where I was told that my cholesterol was just outside what it should be. Of course they didn’t tell me if it was good or bad cholesterol (i.e. HDL or LDL - I won’t go into a science lesson) but it did make me think that maybe taking a month off of red meat (and so much cheese) and seeing where I would go from there, may not be such a bad thing.

So.. in honour of that, October shall be, for me “No red meat month”. It started with a salmon broth (as previously posted but this time with added mooli - yum) the other night but as I’d posted that before there didn’t seem much point in doing so again and then continued with the chicken curry, last posted. Hopefully I’ll stick to it.

So onto tonight’s post. As I said in the very first item on here (January I think) I’d been wanting to start blogging for some time. I think what ultimately made me start was a very excellent blog that I used to check religiously by a couple called Kerri & Stephen - - that I absolutely loved. Sadly it hasn’t been updated for a while but the recipe that follows is very heavily influenced by one I found there. It’s very good.

Chicken with Mustard & Herb Lentils
Serves Two

4 skinless chicken thighs
1 onion, finely diced
1 stick celery, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed 
a few large sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped
large handful parsley, chopped
2 bay leaves
freshly ground black pepper
large glass of half white wine, half sherry
150g puy lentils
250ml chicken stock
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
juice of a lemon
extra chopped fresh parsley to serve

Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (fan) or 200 if not.

Heat a little olive oil in a heavy casserole over a fairly lowish heat (cast iron pans tend to need a lower heat than saucepans etc) and then add the chicken thighs until browned all over. Remove to a plate.

In the same pan soften the onions, celery and carrot. After about five minutes add the garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Add the herbs and the black pepper and cook for another minute.

Add the wine/sherry mix, allowing it to bubble for a couple of minutes so that the alcohol burns off.

Thoroughly stir in the lentils then add the chicken stock and mustard and stir again.

Add the chicken to the lentils, squishing in a bit but so they’re not totally covered then put the casserole into the oven for about 35 minutes.

Check the seasoning then serve adding a good squeeze of lemon juice to each plate along with a sprinkling of parsley if you like.

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