Chicken/ Gluten Free/ Uncategorized

Chicken & Lentil Stew

A good friend was over one night for dinner. She was talking about how hard it is cooking for one, something I can relate to when I am cooking for just my girl and me.  She said she made a big pot of lentils and had been eating it for a week, lunch and dinner and was just plain sick of it.  That got me thinking about the bag of lentils I picked up on a whim at the market but had yet to use. 

It’s probably not surprising to some, but odd to others, that I love just thinking about recipes, I make notes, brainstorm concepts.  I’m not a high-tech, gourmet at-home type.  Oh there are times I experiment with the gourmet, but mostly I enjoy playing with comfort foods. At any rate, I do play in the kitchen.  

Sadly, I’ve only made lentils a handful of times, so I wanted to make something basic and straight-forward while getting reacquainted with this tiny but high in protein legume.  A nice stew seemed like a great way to jump into our rekindled friendship. After tonight’s endeavor, I have several ideas running around in my head for dishes.  I can’t wait.  But before then, back to this dish.

Wanting to be simple, I knew the ingredients were going to be the trinity of onions, carrots, and celery.  Chicken and lentils.  Broth.  Garlic.  I wrestled with the herbs and whether or not I wanted to put mushrooms in the dish.  I settled on rosemary, tarragon, and marjoram.  Salt and pepper of course.  But those mushrooms.  Back and forth.  I couldn’t decide.  You would have thought I was trying to find a solution for world politics with the strenuous thoughts over mushrooms or not.  In the end, I opted to omit them.  My decision was because I wanted simple and near-classic taste.  It was fantastic as I made it.  However, mushrooms would have been equally fantastic too.  So if you love mushrooms, I sanction adding them in.    

If you are trying to keep the calories lower or have dairy issues, this dish is delectable without the dairy in it.  I just decided to add a bit of richness to it on a whim. 


Dinner is served


Veggies and Lentils in for a saute


Broth and herbs added




Cream is in


3 chicken breasts; cubed/chopped

Olive oil

⅛ tsp + pinch of marjoram

¼ tsp + pinch of tarragon

2 pinches rosemary

Salt; to taste

¼ tsp black pepper

1 onion; chopped

2-3 carrots; chopped

3 celery stalks; chopped

1 clove garlic        

¾ cup lentils

3⅔ cups low-sodium chicken broth

½ tbsp spicy brown mustard

⅓ half and half or heavy cream

4 teaspoons cornstarch

Dash of paprika

Fresh juice of ½ of lemon; +/- to taste

Herbs: Add all the herbs, salt, and pepper to a mortar/pestle; grind them together. Set aside.  Or place them in a zipping storage bag, seal, and use the bottom of a glass or rolling pin to grind them together.

In a Dutch oven/casserole pot add olive oil and heat to medium high.  Quickly sear or brown the chicken pieces in the oil, remove, and set aside. In the same pan. Add the onions, celery, and carrots.  Sauté for 2 minutes and then add the garlic.  Add the lentils and stir for an additional 2 minutes. 

Return the chicken to the pot and add the dried seasonings. Incorporate well. Add the broth and the spicy brown mustard. Bring to boil.  Taste for seasoning, cautiously. 

Once it has boiled for about 5 minutes, cover with lid and place in a pre-heated 350º oven.  Bake for 45 minutes.  After the baking time, check doneness of chicken and lentils.  It may need to cook for a few more minutes. 

Once removed from the oven, place on the stovetop over medium heat.  Open the lid and remove about ⅔ cup of the hot broth.  Place it in another bowl and slowly whisk in the cornstarch.  It will become a cloudy thick, near paste like consistency. Set aside.

Check the broth in the pot for seasoning and spices.  Add any salt and pepper if needed.  Add the half and half or heavy cream slowly and stir well.  Add the paprika.

Slowly incorporate the cornstarch roux into the pot.  Mix well and taste for seasonings again.  Add the fresh lemon juice, stir.  Allow to simmer for about 5 minutes.  Serve.


Grab a bowl and spoon



Thank you for sharing!

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