We're so used to seeing lentils dried or in tins that it only occurred to us the other day to wonder what a lentil plant looks like. The answer; not dissimilar to a pea plant, but bushier. Here we've put these lovely legumes in a spicy, creamy sauce which pairs perfectly with pan-fried chicken. Beautiful!
Red Bullet Chilli
Chicken Stock Powder
Trim the carrot, then quarter lengthways (no need to peel). Chop widthways into small pieces. Trim the root and the dark green leafy part from the leek. Slice into rounds about 1⁄2cm thick. Halve the chilli lengthways, deseed and finely chop.
Pick both the thyme leaves and the sage leaves from their stalks (discard the stalks from both herbs.) Roughly chop the sage leaves.
Heat a splash of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the carrot, leek, a pinch of chilli (add more or less depending on how much you like spice!) and all of the thyme and sage. Season with a pinch of salt and cook gently until soft, about 8 mins, stirring occasionally. TIP: Turn the heat down if the ingredients start to brown.
Meanwhile, place each chicken breast between two sheets of clingfilm. Whack with the bottom of a saucepan or a rolling pin until just under 1cm thick all over. IMPORTANT: Remember to wash your hands and equipment after handling raw meat. Heat a splash of oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat. Season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, then lay in your pan, skin-side down. Cook for around 5-6 mins on each side. IMPORTANT: The chicken is cooked when it is no longer pink in the middle.
While the chicken cooks, drain and rinse the lentils in a sieve. Once the veggies are soft, add the lentils along with a splash of water, the stock powder and the crème fraîche. Stir well to dissolve the stock powder, bring to the boil and then remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper if needed. Add more chilli if you want it spicier!
Spoon the spiced creamy lentils onto your plates and top with the pan-fried chicken. Enjoy!