After Christmas eating excesses, January is usually a time to reset and establish healthier habits. If you are looking for healthy family dinner ideas for the New Year or to change up your weekly family meals, then try this delicious chicken and lentil casserole recipe created by Andrew Rudd.
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Chef Andrew Rudd says, “This is such an easy dish to prepare and cook using your slow cooker. More importantly, it has incredible depth of flavour resulting mainly from the slow cooking process. Using the slow cooker also simplifies the process and means that you don’t have to worry about overcooking and spoiling the dish.
I have tried a variation of this recipe many times and it’s always a crowd pleaser. Not only is it so tasty but it’s also really healthy, coming out at only 304 calories per portion.”
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Chicken and Lentil Casserole
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 4 hours on medium heat
Calories per portion: 304
For the marinade
- 1 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Juice and zest of ½ lemon
- Salt & pepper, to season
For the casserole
- 4 chicken breasts, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 small red onions, roughly chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 sticks of celery, diced
- 1 red pepper, roughly chopped
- 1 yellow pepper, roughly chopped
- 400g chopped tomatoes
- 500ml chicken stock
- 400g green (vert) lentils, drained and rinsed
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Flat leaf parsley
- Combine the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl, and whisk.
- Place the chicken into a Ziplock bag or bowl and pour the marinade over, combining well.
- For best results, leave overnight but 2 hours is fine. Drain 5 minutes before cooking whist discarding the juices & marinade.
- On a hob, heat 1 tbsp of sunflower oil in the cooking pot then add the onion, garlic, celery, and pepper. Sauté for five minutes on medium heat. Remove from cooking pot and set aside.
- In the same cooking pot, add 2 chicken breasts and fry for 3 minutes. Turn and fry for a further 2 minutes or until chargrilled. Remove the chicken from the cooking pot and set aside, then cook the other 2 chicken breasts.
- Deglaze the cooking pot with 100g of the chopped tomatoes. Mix well. This will distribute the lovely juices from the chicken.
- Add the remaining tomatoes and stock. Bring to the boil, then reduce to simmer. Season with salt & pepper. Cook for five minutes.
- Add the vegetables, chicken and lentils. Transfer the cooking pot to the base unit. Cover with the glass lid, and cook on medium heat for 4 hours or until the chicken is completely cooked through.
- Remove from heat and rest for 10 minutes.
- Season, to taste, with freshly ground black pepper and salt. Garnish with flat leaf parsley.
Top Tips from Chef Rudd:
- The cooking pot of the slow cooker can be used as a saucepan/frying pan to prep the vegetables and chicken. The great thing is that the chicken does not splash when frying as the cooking pot is quite deep.
- Don’t overcrowd the cooking pot when cooking the chicken. Cook in 2 batches to ensure that they are browned or chargrilled sufficiently on both sides.
- Lentils can be bought in tins /cans and are precooked. This is very convenient and means that you do not have to soak overnight and cook in advance.
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With thanks to Currys PC World for the recipe, check out their full range of healthy living appliances and gadgets at www.currys.ie.
Have your say! Have you tried this chicken and lentil casserole? What did the family think? Tell us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!