Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Dinner with Cooper

My friend Cooper came over for dinner last week and I tried a recipe from the February issue of Food and Wine. I was intrigued with the combo of chicken and lentils and Pimenton de la Vera or smoked paprika. Here's the link http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/roast-chicken-thighs-with-lentil-stew by Jose Andres. I liked the idea of the Spanish flavors because it's so different from what I usually do. I served it with roasted broccoli tossed with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper after roasting. Cooper loved it!

Roasted Chicken Thighs with Lentil Stew my way

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 small red onion, diced
1 quart chicken stock
9 whole garlic cloves, peeled, plus one cored and pressed
2 or 3 medium carrots, halved lengthwise
1 small leek, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise
1 large green bell pepper, seeds removed and quartered
1 cup lentils
1 teaspoon dried thyme
4 skinless chicken thighs
kosher salt
Pimentón de la Vera or smoked paprika
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large pot, cook the bacon over moderate heat until golden brown. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add the stock, 8 whole garlic cloves, carrot, leek, bell pepper, lentils and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a baking dish, drizzle the chicken with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pimentón. Roast on the top rack for about 40 minutes, until cooked through.

Transfer the garlic, carrot, leek and bell pepper to a food processor. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and puree. Stir the pureed vegetables into the lentils.

In a small skillet, heat the remaining olive oil. Add the pressed garlic and cook over low heat for ~1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon of pimentón. Stir together to blend and add to the lentils and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and season with salt. Serve the lentils in bowls topped with the chicken.

I really love smoked paprika, lentils and chicken and this was delicious, hearty and warming. We ate in the candlelight and it was so cozy. I'm always looking for new things to do with chicken and this recipe is a winner and a keeper. It was really wonderful catching up with an old friend over a nice meal. Hope to do it again soon. Enjoy!


  1. This sounds great, I love chicken thighs. Lentils are not my thing and I don't really know why...they're healthy and cheap which totally sounds like my thing but maybe I just haven't found my favorite way to prepare them..I'll give this a try!
    And do you always season your broccoli (or other veg) after roasting? So interesting!! I season mine before but have never thought much about an alternative.

  2. Abbey-I read it somewhere and it really does make a difference with broccoli for some reason. Also garlic tends to burn when I roast it chopped or pressed before everything else is done. as always thank you! oh and give lentils another try. They're great with curry and just about any seasoning.