Chicken breast with lentils a la Française

4
1 hour 40 minutes

Ingredients

Chicken breast and vegetables

  • 4 chicken breasts, free-range, skin on
  • 1 large celeriac
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into a large dice
  • 4 baby parsnips, or 2 large parsnips, halved or diced depending on size
  • 250g of baby onions, peeled
  • 12 baby leeks, optional
  • 1 knob of butter
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Lentils a la Française

  • 200g of puy lentils
  • 700g of water
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  • 4 slices of smoked bacon
  • 1 carrot, small, peeled and halved
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 1 tbsp of parsley, chopped
  • 1 knob of butter

Red wine sauce

  • 100g of red wine
  • 300g of veal jus

Celeriac purée (optional)

  • 300g of semi-skimmed milk
  • 300g of water
  • 1 knob of butter
  • salt
  • black pepper

Method

1
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
  • 200g of puy lentils
2
Place the lentils back in the saucepan and add 700g of water, the garlic, shallot, bacon, carrot and bouillon
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 small shallot, peeled
  • 4 slices of smoked bacon
  • 1 carrot, small, peeled and halved
  • 700g of water
3
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
4
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
5
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
  • 300g of veal jus
  • 100g of red wine
6
Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6
7
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
  • 1 large celeriac
8
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
  • 300g of water
  • 300g of semi-skimmed milk
  • 1 knob of butter
  • black pepper
  • salt
9
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
  • 4 baby parsnips, or 2 large parsnips
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into a large dice
  • pepper
  • 1 knob of butter
  • olive oil
  • salt
10
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
  • 12 baby leeks, optional
  • 250g of baby onions, peeled
11
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
  • 4 chicken breasts, free-range, skin on
12
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
13
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
14
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