Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Roast Chicken with Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter

If I told you that you could have a delicious, healthy, elegant meal on the table in about 15 minutes would you believe me?  It’s true.  Yes, I made use of a couple of convenience foods, but just because foods are convenient doesn’t mean they are unhealthy; in this case, quite the contrary.

Our plan, when we set out today, was to go to the fish market for some salmon so that I could try a recipe I’d been stalking on Epicurious.com.  As often happens, we took a couple of different turns, ended up not going near the fish market, buying armloads of plants from the garden center, and a couple of very cute yellow stacking chairs for the deck.  As we wearily wandered through what we'd both secretly hoped would be our last stop for the day, we rolled our cart by that mesmerizing wall of revolving chickens at Sam’s.  My husband turned to me and said, Would you like…”  “Yes! I howled, and with that our shopping for the day was finished, the hot, roasted chicken in our cart.

I was initially disappointed that I wouldn’t be able to try the salmon recipe and then, on second thought, realized that all of the ingredients would go equally as well with chicken.  The saving grace here was a package of steamed, ready-to-eat lentils from Melissa's Produce.  There would be no boiling of water, no 25 minute wait, I would just sauté the leeks and pop the lentils into the microwave oven.  Quick, easy, healthy, and no one was the wiser.

The next time you have a harried day or are simply short on time, give this recipe a try.

Roast Chicken with Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter
Adapted from Shelley Wiseman’s Salmon with Lentils and Mustard-Herb Butter Gourmet, March 2008

For mustard-herb butter
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 teaspoon chopped tarragon
2 teaspoons grainy mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

For lentils
1 package Melissa’s Steamed Ready to Eat Lentils
2 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 to 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup white wine, chicken stock, or water

For chicken
1 Roast Chicken from Sam’s (or your favorite market)

Make mustard-herb butter:
Stir together all ingredients and add 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and   freshly ground black pepper.

Make lentils:
Cut off root end and green parts of leeks.  Slit down the center, spread open and wash thoroughly to remove all grit and sand; chop.  Cook leeks in butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 8 minutes.

Cook Lentils according to package directions.  Add to leek mixture along with 3 tablespoons mustard-herb butter, and the wine (stock or water) and cook, stirring, until lentils are heated through and butter is melted. Add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat and keep warm, covered.

Slice chicken while leeks cook:
Place slices onto a microwave safe plate, and warm slowly in the microwave until chicken is heated through.  Serve chicken, topped with remaining mustard-herb butter, over lentils.

This post is linked to:  
Foodie Friday at Simple Living


A Cottage in the Clouds said...

That sounds delicious! What a great way to dress up a rotisserie chicken. I didn't know about pre-cooked lentils...great idea!

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

I just bought a bag of lentils after having some as a side at a restaurant with seafood. I didn't know about the ready to eat! What a delightful combo with the chicken.