Lentils are around £1 per 500g and can be used in many different recipes to add bulk.
For this recipe, get the green ones, not orange. You only need about 50g for each person too (raw weight) so that works out at 10p each for the bulky, filling, starchy part of the dish. Although, yes, you do have to add some other ingredients.
A trick with lentils is to add a bit of vinegar (can be white wine vinegar, balsamic or another type) to make them more digestible.
Chicken with Lentils Recipe
Ingredients: (serves 4)
- 1 tbsp olive oil (or sunflower)
- 4 chicken portions (legs, thighs or breast, incl bone and skin)
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 200g-250g green lentils (Puy or similar type)
- 1 chicken stock cube
- 100g sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 1 tsp mixed dried herbs (or 1 tbsp fresh, chopped)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 200g mushrooms, wiped and chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp vinegar
- Fry the chicken in the oil on a high heat till nicely browned, in a large ovenproof casserole.
- Add onion and turn down the heat to medium, Continue cooking 5 minutes.
- Add all the other ingredients + water to just cover.
- Cover and cook in a 180°C oven for at least an hour, till the lentils are soft.
- Alternatively you can put everything in a slow-cooker after the chicken and onion have browned, and cook all day (12 hours on a low heat) – this uses only the electricity of a light bulb. This is a meal in itself.