Chicken with Puy Lentils Cooked in Cider

Ben Ticehurst cooks these green lentils with bacon, onion and garlic to create a dish full of the flavours of France
Chicken with Puy Lentils Cooked in Cider
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 rashers unsmoked streaky bacon, cut into strips
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 200 g puy lentils
  • 1 litre cider
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a heavy-based pan over a low heat. Add the bacon and fry for 1 minute, then stir in the onion and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened.

2. Pick over the lentils to ensure there are no small stones included and rinse them well. Add them to the pan and stir well, coating them with oil. Pour in the cider, add the bay leaf and thyme, and bring to the boil. Cover the pan, reduce the heat and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes. Stir the lentils occasionally as they cook, adding a dash of water if they begin to stick, until they have softened but still hold their shape.

3. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

4. Meanwhile, season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat the remaining oil in an ovenproof pan over a medium-high heat and fry the seasoned chicken pieces on both sides until golden. Leave them in the pan, skin side up, and roast in the oven for 10 minutes, or until cooked through. When the chicken is ready, drain the lentils of any remaining liquid (they will have absorbed most of it) and serve the chicken on top of them. Sprinkle with the chopped parsley before bringing to the table.

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