Braised Chicken Thighs with Lentils
- 2-3 Tbsp (30-45 mL) canola oil
- 1 celery stick, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thinly
- 1 carrot, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced thinly
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
- 1 1/2 Tbsp (22 mL) all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried thyme, or a few sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 bay leaf, left whole
- 2 Tbsp (30mL) Dijon mustard
- 1 1/4 cup (310 mL) dry green lentils
- 2 10 oz (284 mL) cans chicken stock, undiluted (preferably low-sodium), or 21/2 cups (625 mL) strong homemade chicken stock
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine (unsweetened apple juice can be substituted)
- 1 1/2 lb (680 g) bone-in chicken thighs, skin discarded and fat trimmed (about 5-8 thighs, depending on size)
- salt and freshlyground black pepper to taste
- boiled or mashed potatoes and steamed green beans for serving (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350º F.
In a large Dutch oven or oven-safe saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot and onion, stir to combine and cover with a lid for about 5 minutes to sweat the vegetables. Add the garlic and flour and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly distribute the flour. Add the thyme, bay leaf, mustard, lentils, stock and wine, and stir to combine.
In a separate skillet, add another tablespoon of oil and sauté the chicken thighs in one or two batches just until nicely browned (don’t worry about cooking them through). Add the browned chicken to the Dutch oven, and push them down into the liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste (hold off salting if your chicken stock is not low-sodium), cover with a lid or foil, and bake in the oven for 1 1/2-2 hours until the chicken and lentils are cooked through, checking occasionally to be sure there is still an inch or two of liquid in the pot. Top up with water if required. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stems (if you used fresh).
Once cooked, the braise can be served with one thigh per person, or the thighs can all be transferred to a plate and allowed to cool until safe to handle, at which point the meat can be removed from the bones, coarsely shredded and returned to the pot.
Serve over potatoes and top with the green beans if you wish, or simply ladle into bowls as is.
Makes 6 servings.
Recipe Courtesy of Canadian Lentils.