My roasted leg of chicken with puy lentils is a winter winner. Using chicken legs and puy lentils is a really cost effective way to produce a tasty dish that I am sure will be appreciated as everyone is feeling the pinch after an expensive December.
The process of confiting the chicken before roasting it means that you are guaranteed soft, tender and moist meat. The same process can be applied to duck or pheasant with equally satisfying results. The confit process can be done up to three days in advance. You can cover the chicken legs with the oil, confit them in the oven and then they can be stored covered in the oil and wrapped well with cling film in the fridge until they are needed. The longer the chicken legs have to sit in the fat, the more succulent they will be.
This dish is a true bistro classic and will appear on our menu at Bistro Moderne in Stockbridge next week.
Ingredients – serves four
4 chicken legs
1/2 a bunch of thyme
1/2 a bulb of garlic, skin on
2 bay leaves
200ml rapeseed oil
150g puy lentils
300ml good quality chicken stock
1 bay leaf
3 sprigs of thyme
1 carrot, finely diced
The white of 1 small leek, finely diced
1 stick of celery, finely diced
Splash of double cream
Preheat the oven to 120C.
Cover the chicken legs, thyme, garlic and bay leaves with the oil in a deep baking tray.
Place greaseproof paper over the tray and wrap tinfoil around the whole lot.
Place in the oven for two hours.
Once cooled, cover the tray with clingfilm and store in the fridge until ready to use.
Soak the lentils for 1 hour in cold water and give them a good rinse.
Simmer the lentils, chicken stock, bay leaf and thyme in a pot for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender.
Remove the bay leaf and the thyme.
Keep the lentils warm.
In a separate pan, melt the butter and sweat the carrot, leek and celery till tender.
While the vegetables are still warm, stir them into the lentils with a splash of cream.
The stock and the cream will create a sauce for the lentils.
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Take the chicken legs out of the oil.
Place them in a non-stick pan, skin-side down.
Place the entire pan in the oven for 20 minutes.
The skin will crisp up but the meat will remain amazingly soft and tender.
Warm the lentils through.
Serve a generous spoonful of the lentils topped with a chicken leg and enjoy.