Chicken and lentil salad


First published in 2015
Share recipe

Much ‘healthy’ eating is often presumed devoid of flavour and doesn’t leave me feeling the least bit sated. For me moderation is the key word with diet and I think trying to avoid excessive eating is a good start, so I have been keeping an eye on portion sizes, trimming off extra fat from meat, and cooking more fish.

Balance is another key point with the inclusion of more fruit, vegetables and small but mighty pulses. Coming back to the all-important taste factor, I’ve also stopped reaching out so much for the salt pig and tried to think about other routes to seasoning food by using herbs and low saturated oils such as rapeseed, which is also naturally high in Omega 3.

For this dish you can simply shred the skinless chicken breasts once they’re poached but I like to pop them on a scorching hot griddle for extra smoke and charcoal lines. It’s a technique known as pôche grillé if you want to get all cheffy!




Poached chicken breasts



Salsa verde

Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan, place on the hob, and bring to the boil. Pop in the chicken, reduce the heat to a simmer and leave to gently poach for 10 minutes. Once fully poached, take out the chicken breasts and leave to drain in a warm place. Keep the stock
In a separate saucepan, heat 1 tbsp of rapeseed oil and add the vegetables with the bay leaf. Cook on a low heat, cover with the saucepan lid and leave them to sweat for 10 minutes
For the asparagus, trim the ends, cut each spear in half, and steam for 4 minutes
After the vegetables have been sweating for 10 minutes, rinse the lentils and place into the saucepan with the vegetables. Increase the heat and add enough chicken stock to cover the mixture. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 20 minutes until the lentils are cooked
To make the salsa verde, throw the chopped capers, garlic and parsley, mint, and basil leaves in a bowl. Add in the Dijon mustard, vinegar and 1 tbsp of oil. Season with lots of black pepper and mix together
If you would like to try the pôche grillé technique, place a griddle pan on a high heat and when it begins to smoke, quickly grill the cooked chicken for about a minute each side
Grill the cooked chicken for a minute each side
To serve, spoon the lentils into the centre of each plate and then cut the chicken breast on the diagonal and place on top, with the asparagus to the side. Finish by drizzling a good amount of salsa verde all over
Finish by drizzling a good amount of salsa verde all over
First published in 2015
Share recipe