Pan Roast Chicken, Kale, Lentils and Chorizo

chicken, lentils, chorizo, kale

My wife’s started jogging again.

“Great news”, you say, “good for her, she’ll feel much better for it”. Which is of course true, but then it leaves me with a bit of a dilemma in that I’m most certainly not jogging at the moment. Nor ever in fact. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed sports as a whipper snapper, loved it even, but running any sort of distance was a by-product of whatever it was I was doing. It got me where I needed to go that bit quicker.

Needless to say, my enthusiasm still hasn’t taken root even as I entered my 40’s last year. I admire those that do, but it’s just not for me, I’m just not wired up that way.

Still, as I stood there, scratching the back of my head thinking about what the heck to make for diner in her absence, a sense of guilt did cross my mind. Momentarily, you understand. This dish was then a last minute vain attempt to feel remotely virtuous I suppose and I can say with all certainty as she came  back into the kitchen panting (but happy), no, it didn’t work.

So: kale, lentils (again, sorry), shallots, mushrooms, lean chicken? The very stuff of athletes. Single cream, mustard and chorizo picante? No so much, but hey, an old injury forced me out of the Olympics next year anyway….

Olympics again NEXT year? Where does the time go?

  • 2 chicken breasts.
  • 100g lentils
  • 1 litre of chicken stock
  • About 6 handfuls of kale, remove any thick stalks
  • 15 button mushrooms, halved
  • 4 shallots, finely sliced
  • About a thumb length of chorizo (or more if you have stubby fingers), finely diced
  • 1/2-1 tsp of mustard of your choice
  • About 100ml single cream
  • Salt and black pepper
  • A little oil

Preheat an oven to 160ºC/320ºF.

Get the lentils simmering in the chicken stock first. They’ll take about 20-30 minutes in a pan with a lid on.

After 10 minutes, gently fry the shallots and chorizo in a small pan, and add the mushrooms to soften.

Meanwhile, heat an oven proof frying pan with a little oil and sear one side of the chicken until well coloured. Flip over, seasoning both sides and place in an oven at 160ºC/320ºF for about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of your breasts (no sniggering at the back), until it reaches 60-65ºC/140-150ºF in the middle. Remove and leave to rest once done.

The lentils should be just about done so pour about 300 ml of the cooking stock into the pan with the shallots, chorizo and mushroom, and place  the kale on top. Put a lid on and simmer until the kale is just wilted.

Stir in the the mustard and cream, simmer a little longer and season to taste. That’s it, serve it up with a drink of whatever you fancy and talk about past sporting glories as compensation….

Chicken, chorizo, kale, lentils

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Venison meatballs and lentils

venison meatballs and lentils

Ah, it’s good to be back after a bit of a busy time. A little bit too much working hard and playing (not quite so) hard means a little less time for writing. Or cooking.

Holidays, festivals and rather messy Stag Do to Hamburg have all featured heavily over recent weeks and so I feel I’ve fallen behind a bit. Food markets seem to be a big feature of late though, they seem to be everywhere at the moment and I’ll be writing about this later.

For now though, I thought I’d share a dish I made last week before departing for Hamburg dressed like a complete tool.

This was another fridge-rummaging, wrinkly-bit-trimming special, to use up the leftovers before I left for the long weekend. I was fairly confident they wouldn’t be used in my absence 😉

This time, some frozen venison mince, a half opened pack of bacon, aubergine from a ratatouille that never was, carrots and a courgette/zuchinni were all involved in this super-hearty dish. Lentils, although one of my favourites were intended as a healthy gesture to ward away the bodily carnage that was to come. Absolutely futile.

green lentils

Serves 2-3

For the meatballs

  • 250g venison mince
  • 2 back bacon rashers, finely sliced
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1-2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp mustard (I used English)
  • 1 large handful breadcrumbs
  • Salt and pepper

For the sauce

  • 1 each: carrot, courgette, aubergine, sliced
  • 1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 500ml beef or game stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree

Lentils

  • 150g lentils.
  • 750ml stock (chicken or vegetable)

Creme fraiche to serve.

Start by cooking the lentils in stock until tender – about 45 minutes. Simmer with the lid on until nearly done then take the lid off to concentrate the stock flavour.

Make the meatballs by combining all the ingredients with your hand until evenly mixed.

venison meatball mixture

Season with about a tsp of salt and plenty of black pepper. Mix again to distribute.

Important bit: take a piece of the meat mixture off and fry it. Make any adjustments to the seasoning as you see fit.

Roll the mixture into large meatballs – I got about 9 golf ball sized ones out of it.

frying venison meatballs

Fry the meatballs, onions and garlic in a decent amount of oil using a large lidded frying pan until well browned all over. Add the carrots and mix well. Pour in the stock and tomato puree and leave to simmer for a few minutes with the lid on to soften the carrot. Add the aubergine and courgette and simmer some more (5 minutes) with the lid on until they also softened.

venison meatballs

Finally, for a another five minutes, take the lid off and turn up the heat to concentrate the sauce.

Serve it all on the lentils with the creme fraiche. Filling.

venison meatballs and lentils