Bon Appetit ~ January 2004
The original recipe that inspired my Moroccan flavored lentils, plus commentary on preparation and personalization.
MOROCCAN CHICKEN and LENTILS
8 cups water
3 teaspoons salt, divided
1 pound dried brown lentils, rinsed, drained
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
(I used MUCH less oil …about 1/3 to 1/2 C)
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons ground cumin, divided
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
Combine 8 cups water and 1 teaspoon salt in heavy large saucepan over high heat. Add lentils; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain well; rinse with cold water and drain again. Place in large bowl.
I didn’t drain the lentils twice. I gave them a quick rinse and then put them into the bowl to stay warm.
Also of note … I thought to myself, “Really? Cook an entire pound of lentils? We’ll eat on these for days and then still have leftovers.” Note to self: MAKE THE FULL POUND! They were perfectly cooked and the seasoning complemented the earthiness of the lentils beautifully. If lentils can be rich … they were rich.
Whisk 1 cup olive oil, vinegar, 2 tablespoons cumin, 2 tablespoons chili powder, garlic, and 1 teaspoon salt in large measuring cup. Pour dressing over warm lentils and toss.
Again, less oil. Kept the seasonings the same however as I like strong flavors.
Heat 2 tablespoons (or less…) olive oil in large skillet over high heat. Add onion; sauté until dark brown and soft, about 5 minutes. Add chicken; sauté 2 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon cumin, 2 teaspoons chili powder, and cinnamon. Sauté until chicken is cooked through.
Arrange lentils on large platter. Place sliced chicken atop lentils. Drizzle with remaining dressing and sprinkle with parsley.
I threw in a bunch of fresh broccoli. I did this firstly because we needed a vegetable, secondly because everybody in this family eats broccoli, thirdly because I didn’t want to eat but a very small piece or two of the chicken, and lastly because I thought the seasoning would be good on broccoli. Okay… lastly… I didn’t want to dirty another pan either.
It’s wonderful to have something that is so good for you taste amazing!