Tuesday 24 February 2015

Poached chicken with lardons and lentils

Serves 1
garlic oil 2 x 15ml tbsp
smoked lardons or pancetta (or diced smoked streaky bacon) 100g
carrot 1, peeled and halved lengthwise, roughly chopped
leek 1, cleaned, trimmed and halved lengthwise, roughly chopped
fresh parsley 3 x 15ml tbsp, chopped
dried mint ½ tsp
lemon 1, grated zest
puy lentils 125g
English mustard 1 tsp
chicken supreme (i.e. a skinned breast with peg bone in) 1, preferably organic
water 500ml
salt and pepper to taste
Fry the lardons, carrot, leek, parsley, mint and lemon zest in the oil for about 7 minutes, stirring frequently, in a smallish, heavy-based pan (big enough to lay 1 chicken breast in) that has a lid. Stir in the lentils and cook for another minute, before adding the yellow gloop of mustard and stir that in, too.
Sit the chicken on top of everything in the pan, and add the water. Bring to the boil, put on a lid and simmer very, very gently for 45 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through and the lentils are tender. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
You can eat now, but everything is at its most tender best made in advance and reheated. I let it cool in the pan with the lid off, but for no longer than 1 hour, then put the lid back on and stash the pan in the fridge. Later, I warm it in the pan with the lid on, until everything’s piping hot again. Why add to the washing up?


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