Monday, October 31, 2011

Shredded Chicken with Kale and Curried Lentils

It snowed here this weekend. Yes, here in DC. Snow. Before Halloween. I expect this from upstate NY where I grew up (I remember many a Halloween with trick or treaters trudging through the snow). But not DC. Not yet. Thankfully none of the snow stuck and I awoke this morning to a sunny crisp fall day. Almost like the weather wanted to apologize for the snow mistake of yesterday.

So because it wasn't snowing or raining today (and therefore my overwhelming urge to make bread had dissipated) and because these lentils are ORANGE and tomorrow is Halloween, this is what we had for dinner.

Sadly, orange lentils (which are really called red lentils) turn a yellowish brown color when they cook. Green lentils turn brownish and yellow lentils turn brownish. It seems that lentils are just determined to be ugly. And no matter what you do, lentils WILL smoosh together while they cook, becoming a sloppy, beany, delicious mess. But it does makes for a slightly less attractive dish. If you ever see perfectly separated lentils picture in a magazine, they cheated. I promise. They probably used canned lentils or didn't cook them all the way. I've never ever been able to make a lentil dish look as amazing as it tastes. Ok, maybe it's just me, but have you ever made a pretty lentil dish?

A few variations: this dish is lovely without chicken. Or sometimes I serve a lovely tandoori chicken on the side instead of the shredded and combined version. I love kale, so that's what I've included in the recipe. But swiss chard or spinach or even collard greens would also be an excellent addition. Play with it a little and let us know what you think.

Shredded Chicken with Kale and Curried Lentils
Recipe by Kelly
Pictures by Kelly

2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup red lentils
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
3-4 cups kale, chopped into bite-sized pieces
2 small chicken breasts
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to high broil. Rub 1 teaspoon of oil and a pinch of salt and pepper over chicken and place in oven. Broil until chicken is cooked through (about 15 minutes), turning once. Remove from oven and shred.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pot. Add onions and saute about 4 minutes. Add 1 garlic clove and ginger and stir about 1 minute. Add lentils, salt, curry powder, and broth. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, over medium heat about 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. 
  3. About 5 minutes before lentils are done, heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet on medium heat. Add 1 garlic clove and saute about 1 minute. Add kale and cook, stirring oaccasionally, until kale is wilted and tender, 4-5 minutes. 
  4. Combine lentils and kale in a large bowl and stir to combine. Top with chicken and squeeze lemon over the top.


JFRL said...

This sounds really tasty. I have all the ingredients on hand, too.

Perhaps tomorrow, after we are all done binging on candy, I'll prepare this for our detox dinner.

JFRL said...

BTW, I agree. Lentils are not photogenic, but they certainly taste good.

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