Chicken breast with lentils a la Française

  • Main
  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 40 minutes


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Chicken breast and vegetables

Lentils a la Française

Red wine sauce

Celeriac purée (optional)

To make the lentils, place the lentils in a saucepan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to the boil then pass through a colander, before refreshing in cold water
Place the lentils back in the saucepan and add 700g of water, the garlic, shallot, bacon, carrot and bouillon
Bring to the boil and reduce to a slow simmer for 10–15 minutes. The lentils should be tender with no bite, but still holding their shape
Once the lentils are cooked, allow to cool, remove the other ingredients (reserve the bacon, finely dice and stir through) and store the lentils in their cooking juices until later
To make the red wine sauce, gently simmer the wine in a small saucepan until reduced by half. Add the veal jus, bring to a boil and remove from the heat. Season to taste and set aside
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
Peel the celeriac and create a large cube by trimming the sides. Cut the cube into a large dice – you will need some of this for the purée and some for garnish in step 9. Reserve the trimmings and the remaining diced celeriac for the purée, if making
To make the celeriac purée, combine the celeriac trimmings and dice, water and milk in a saucepan and simmer until the celeriac is soft. Strain, reserving the liquid, and place the celeriac in a blender. Blitz with a little of cooking liquid and the butter until smooth and season to taste with salt and pepper
To cook the squash, celeriac and parsnip, pan-roast each vegetable in a little vegetable oil, a knob of butter, salt and pepper until golden brown (for approximately 2–3 minutes). Place in the oven for 5 minutes until tender, then remove from the oven and reduce the heat to 180°C/gas mark 4
For the baby leeks and onions, cook in a pan of boiling salted water until tender (for around 2–3 minutes) then strain and refresh in cold water. Cut the baby onions in half and sear cut-side down in a hot non-stick pan
To cook the chicken, remove from the fridge 15 minutes before cooking and season the skin with salt. Heat an ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat, add a dash of oil and once hot, place the breasts skin-side down
Cook until the skin is golden in colour, then season the flesh and turn each breast over. Transfer the chicken to the oven and cook for 8 minutes before removing and allowing to rest for 10 minutes
Gently warm the lentils in a saucepan and once hot, remove from the heat and stir in the butter and parsley. Season to taste
  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 tbsp of parsley, chopped
Warm the purée and add a spoonful to the centre of the plate, followed the by lentils and the chicken breast. Arrange the winter vegetables around the chicken and finish with a drizzle of red wine sauce
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