Green Lentil Stuffed Chicken Recipe

Green Lentil Stuffed Chicken Recipe Recipe

Little toddler Aria is truly my greatest joy. She has inspired me in all aspects of my life and I take great pride in the efforts I put into helping care for and educate her. We cook almost daily together or if not, I at least get her to watch and participate in the preparation of the dinner. She's innately curious about everything around her and wants to better understand, feel, touch everything. Today, Aria helped me prepare the green lentil filling I used to stuff chicken thighs.

The lentil filling was flavored with shallots, garlic, thyme and day-old brioche. Aria cracked an egg on top so the mixture had a binder and she absolutely loved mixing and getting her hands dirty. This recipe is a healthy approach because it's packed with fiber, iron and protein. I stuffed it into boned chicken thighs then roasted the chicken until the skin was crisp and golden. The best part was watching Aria enjoying the result that came from her hard work. 

Ingredients

Yields: 6 servings

6 chicken thighs (about 1-½ pounds), boneless and skinless
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup French green lentils (see tips), cooked
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, freshly minced
1 sprig thyme, bruised and chopped
3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley
1 egg
¼ teaspoon red chili pepper
¼ day-old brioche (or bread)
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper, freshly crushed
½ cup your favorite vinaigrette, extra after the chicken is cooked

Directions

Preheat the oven at 400°F.

For the lentil filling:

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a non-stick 9-inch pan, add the chopped shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes until shiny and slightly golden. Transfer to a bowl, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.

Place the brioche in a food processor and pulse until it becomes a coarse mill. Set aside.

Lightly oil the bowl of the food processor with a silicone brush. Add the cooked green lentils. Coarsely blend until a thick paste is formed. Season with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and cooked shallots and pulse 3-4 times. Transfer the paste into a bowl. Add the red chili pepper, crumbled brioche, thyme, parsley, the egg and the rest of the oil from the pan. Using a spatula, mix well. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.

For the chicken:

Remove the fat around the bottom of the thighs if there is any. Wash the chicken and pat them dry using paper towels.

Season the chicken with salt, cayenne pepper and pepper. Add the vinaigrette and baking powder. Toss well. Place the chicken in a large bowl or a sealable zip-top bag. Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Prepping the filling and making the lentil stuffed chicken:

Pat the meat dry one more time using paper towels.

Place one chicken piece, skin side down on a cutting board. Spread about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the lentil filling evenly over the chicken. Carefully roll up the chicken tightly. Repeat with the 5 remaining pieces of chicken. Place the chicken, seam side down onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Season the outer surface of each roll with more salt and pepper.

Assembly:

Roast for 25 minutes. At the end, brush the chicken with a bit of the extra vinaigrette (for the salad) using a silicone brush and change the setting of the oven to broil for 3 minutes.  Remove chicken from the oven. Cover with foil (don't entirely wrap it; the skin won't be crispy otherwise).

Serve warm with your favorite salad and drizzle with the accompanying salad dressing.

Bon appétit!

Tips

The lentils will be easier to digest once quickly blanched and baking soda has been added to the cooking liquid. I boiled the lentils for 35 minutes, then drained and let cool to room temperature. 

Quick reminder for vinaigrette: In a sealable jar, combine the juice of half a lemon, 1 clove of garlic, 2 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon mustard, 2 tablespoons parsley and the extra-virgin olive oil. Cover with a lid and shake until the dressing is well combined and emulsified. If you use a regular bowl, simply mix using a whisk. Season with ¼ teaspoon miso paste (or salt) and black pepper. Add 2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger.

 

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on February 20, 2015.


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