This healthy lentil stew with crispy bacon and pan fried chicken and vegetables, makes for a very earthy meal that can easily become a family staple.
|1.5 cups||(375 mL) Brown or green lentils|
|2 tbsp||(30 mL) Olive oil|
|1||Leek, thinly sliced|
|1||Stalk celery, diced|
|1||Red pepper, diced|
|2||Cloves garlic, minced|
|3 cups||(750 mL) Chicken broth, divided|
|.5 tsp||(2 mL) Lemon zest|
|6||Slices Maple Leaf® Bacon|
|1||Package Maple Leaf Prime Naturally® Thin Slice Chicken Breast|
|Salt and pepper|
|6 cups||(1.5 L) Lightly packed baby spinach Chopped fresh parsley|
PLACE lentils in a fine strainer and rinse with cold water. Set aside. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, carrots, celery, peppers and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in lentils and 2 ½ cups (625 mL) of chicken broth along with thyme and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and continue to simmer for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until lentils are tender but not mushy.
COOK bacon in a large pan until crisp, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Discard all but 1 tbsp (15 mL) of bacon drippings from the pan. Heat the drippings over medium heat and add the chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 6-8 minutes per side or until golden brown and the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Remove the chicken from the pan and keep warm.
DEGLAZE the pan with the remaining ½ cup (125 mL) of chicken broth and add to the lentils.
DIVIDE the spinach between four plates, spoon lentils over top then add chicken. Top with crumbled bacon and garnish with chopped parsley. This healthy lentil stew with crispy bacon and pan fried chicken and vegetables, makes for a very earthy meal that can easily become a family staple.
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