Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mediterranean Chicken with Lentils and Rice

There is a restaurant in Hell's Kitchen that my boyfriend Keith and I love. It's called Hummus Kitchen. They have amazing falafel and the Moroccan wrap is awesome. Yesterday, we stopped in for lunch after the gym, and the server brought to our attention that since we were ordering two appetizers, if we spent another $1.95, we could get a third. We, of course, said yes, and I opted for the rice and lentils.

It was delicious.

I decided to come home and build dinner around the rice and lentils experience, and I did! It was cheap, easy, and so damn delicious.

Mediterranean Chicken with Lentils and Rice

2 chicken breasts cubed
1/4 bag of lentils
2 tomatoes
8 cloves garlic diced
1 naval orange
1 Belgian endive chopped
1 jalapeno diced
1 bunch cilantro minced
1/2 teaspoon cumin
2 tbsp hot sesame oil
1/4 cup manzanilla olives with juice
1 lb spinach
1 cup jasmine rice
1/4 tsp rosemary
1/4 cup Patis (fish sauce)
1 medium red onion diced
2 ripe avocados

First, put a pot of water on to boil for the lentils. Put the lentils in right away. Add half of the garlic and half of the onion into the water. Once the water begins to boil, cover the lentils and reduce the hit but leave the lid off slightly. Allow to cook for 20-25 minutes. When done drain most of the water and set aside. Once the lentils are done cooking and the water has been drained add half of the cilantro and stir it all together. The heat from the lentils will soften the fresh cilantro.

Cook the rice and set aside.

In a large skillet or wok, heat the sesame oil. Once the oil is hot add the cilantro, onions, jalapenos, and garlic and cook until the onions are translucent. Then add the chicken. Brown the chicken for about 5 minutes on medium high heat and then add all the rest of the ingredients except for the spinach and avocado (don't mix in the lentils and rice...sorry if I am stating the obvious). Cut the orange in half and squeeze the juice from the orange onto the chicken. Keep the mixture stirring and cooking for another 10-12 minutes. Just before the chicken is completely cooked, add the spinach and cook, mixing it all together for another 3-5 minutes.

Serve the chicken over a plate of rice and lentils and voila!

This recipe will feed a family of four (with seconds and thirds) for $12-$15.

PS This was the first time I have ever cooked with endives. I am now a HUGE fan.