Grilled chicken salad with pancetta, radicchio, red onions and lentils

Crisp grilled chicken combines with a host of fabulous flavours and ingredients in this stunning supper dish from Ben O'Donoghue
Grilled chicken salad with pancetta, radicchio, red onions and lentils
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 100 g Puy lentils
  • 1 stick of celery, cut into 3
  • 4 celery leaves
  • 2 clove garlic
  • juice of 1 lemons
  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced into 5mm rings
  • 3-4 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ head radicchio, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tsp thyme, leaves only
  • 8 pieces thinly sliced pancetta
  • a good handful of mint leaves
  • a good handful of watercress, picked
  • 1-1½ tbsp aged balsamic vinegar


1. Rinse the lentils, then place in a saucepan and cover with cold water to a depth twice their volume.

2. Tie the celery stick and leaves together and add to the water along with the garlic cloves. Bring to the boil and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 40 minutes. Discard the celery and garlic and strain. Place in a bowl; add the lemon juice and 1 tbsp of oil and season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.

3. Heat a griddle plate or a ridged pan over a medium heat and brush with olive oil. Cook the onion rings slowly so they become soft and sweet. Transfer to a bowl and toss with a teaspoon of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar. Brush the griddle with a little more oil and slowly cook the radicchio wedges until lightly browned. Season and add to the bowl with the onion. Keep warm.

4. Set the oven to 180°C/gas 4. Season the chicken with salt, pepper and the thyme. Heat a frying pan over a high heat, add a little oil and quickly brown the chicken and pancetta. Transfer to a roasting dish and roast for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and drizzle with a little oil and balsamic vinegar. Adjust the seasoning of the onion and radicchio mixture if required, and then divide among four plates.

5. Place a chicken breast on top and divide the pancetta evenly between the servings.

6. In a bowl, mix together the mint and watercress leaves with the juices from the roasting dish. Spoon over the top of the chicken.

7. To serve, drizzle a ring of aged balsamic around the salad and a trickle of oil.

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