With thanks to Jill Dupleix
The lentils are tossed with a punchy tomato and mint vinaigrette, and served here with roasted chicken leg, but they are equally good with grilled fish or lamb chops. The best lentils around are the slate-green ‘lentilles de Puy’, widely available from good food stores, which do not require soaking, and which retain their shape and flavour over cooking.
- 4 chicken legs (quarters – I mean thigh and leg)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 250 g green or brown lentils
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 litre cold water
- 2 tomatoes
- 2 tbsp finely chopped mint
- 1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
Heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5. Coat the chicken with olive oil, and season with salt, pepper and dried oregano. Place on an oiled baking tray and bake for 45 minutes.
In the meantime, rinse the lentils and pick out and discard any strange ones. Combine the lentils with the onion, garlic, bay leaves and cold water, and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 20 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain well.
To make the dressing: cut the tomatoes in half, discard juice and seeds, and finely chop. In a bowl, combine the tomato with mint, parsley, sea salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil and red wine vinegar. Toss the drained lentils in the dressing, and divide between four dinner plates. Top with a roast chicken leg, and serve.