Braised puy lentils, roast chicken, chimichurri

A high protein, nutrient dense and tasty dinner for when salad isn’t warming enough.
It’s great served warm and equally keeps well, making leftovers a great option for lunches on subsequent days.
In case chicken isn’t your thing, you can pretty much top the lentils with whatever you like. A baked sweet potato or some roasted cauliflower are equally delicious additions to this dish.

Braised puy lentils n chicken.JPG

Ingredients to feed 4 (or 1 plus 3 epic lunches)
250g dried Merchant Gourmet puy lentils, rinsed
4x organic chicken thighs/ drumsticks - if you are veggie/ vegan, bake 2x sweet potatoes instead
1 small onion, finely diced
1 stick of celery, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1 bay leaf
Leaves from 3 sprigs of thyme (around a tablespoon)
500ml veg stock
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
4 cloves of garlic, left unpeeled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
Rapeseed oil to cook with (I used Duchess Farms)

For the chimichurri:
2 cloves of garlic
30g parsley
2 tablespoons of fresh oregano leaves
1 red chilli, deseeded
10g coriander
150ml of good quality olive oil
2x tablespoons of white wine vinegar

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C.
Pop the chicken thighs/ drumsticks on a baking tray, season well, drizzle with rapeseed oil and pop the 4 garlic cloves under the chicken. Bake for 40 mins or until the skin is crispy and the chicken is cooked through. 

To make the braised puy lentils:
Heat a tablespoon of rapeseed oil in a large saucepan/ casserole dish on a low/ medium heat.
Throw in the carrots, celery, onion, bay and thyme, season well, put a lid on the pan and sauté for 5-10 minutes until the onions have softened.  
Turn the heat up to medium, add the lentils and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. 
Pour in enough stock to cover (approx 500ml), reduce the heat again, put the lid on the pan and cook for 10-15 minutes until the lentils have started to soften but still have some bite. 
Take the lid off, turn the heat up to high and cook until the cooking liquid reduces to half. Take it off the heat, stir through a teaspoon of Dijon mustard and squeeze out the garlic from the cloves left in with the chicken and stir that through too. 
Check the seasoning (taste the dish) and season again if needed.  

To make the chimichurri:
Pop all of the ingredients in a blender with a couple of pinches of sea salt and pulse until well combined.
This isn’t the traditional way to make chimichurri but it’s way easier than chopping everything finely.

To serve, put a ladle of the lentils in a pasta bowl, top with chicken and drizzle with the chimichurri.