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Chicken with salami and lentils

salami2


I remember very clearly what first inspired me to cook this: a meal in the London restaurant Galvin with my family many years ago.  I've tinkered about and changed my recipe so often that I can hardly remember what the original restaurant dish contained. I think it was guinea fowl with lentils. Whatever, it was so simple and so good that I tried to recreate it at home.

 

It's gone through many changes since then and will probably continue to do so. This is my current version. It keeps well in the fridge and even tastes a bit better when reheated the next day.

 

Serves 4 as a main course

 

2 chicken breasts

300ml chicken stock

100ml white wine

250g puy lentils

2 sticks of celery, diced

2 mushrooms, diced

2 onions, chopped into chunky pieces

75g hunk of coarse Italian salami - Finocchiona is particularly good here

a sprig of rosemary, finely chopped

20g butter

a little parsley, chopped

2 tbsp grainy mustard (optional)

 

Melt the butter in a deep sided frying pan over a medium heat. Cut each chicken breast into 4 large pieces and brown them on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside and add the onions and rosemary.

 

Cook the onions until softened and golden in colour. Cut the salami into large dice and add to the pan, along with the celery and mushrooms. Continue cooking for another few minutes, then add the lentils and the white wine. Add the chicken stock as well after a few minutes, and stir so the ingredients are well mixed and the lentils are all sitting below the surface of the liquid in the pan.

 

Simmer, uncovered for about 10 minutes, then return the chicken pieces to the pan and cover. Simmer for another 10 minutes or so until the lentils are soft, but not collapsing. If the mixture starts to look dry at any point, add a little water.

 

If using the mustard, stir it in directly before serving. Divide the lentil mixture between 4 bowls and top each with two chicken pieces. Scatter with parsley and serve with crusty bread on the side.


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