The local small chain grocery store is having a killer sale this week. The best loss leader IMHO is the 24 ounce package of chicken legs or thighs, 11 for $10, or 91¢ per package. Wow! I'm stocking my freezer with chicken this week.
I looked in the pantry to see what I might have to go along and found some red lentils. Hmmm...
Went to Epicurious.com, typed in red lentil, and found a recipe for Curried Red Lentil and Swiss Chard Stew With Garbanzo Beans. The name's almost as long as the whole recipe.
Unless I'm baking something new, I use the formal recipe as a guideline and wing it, so here's how I made a great winter evening dinner:
Wash and trim chicken thighs. Pour a little olive oil into a big skillet and saute the chicken on both sides until browned.
While chicken is browning, chop a couple of ribs of celery and some carrots, put in pan with chicken. Chop a jumbo onion and dump it in too, then mince some garlic and add it to the pan. Add a couple teaspoons (just guessing here) of sweet curry powder (from Penzey's) and stir well.
Transfer the chicken to a baking pan with rack and place in a 375° oven. Raise the temperature to around 400° for the last five minutes or so, this will produce nicely crisp skin.
(Using what I had on hand...) Zap a bag of frozen spinach in the microwave until melted. Add to pan along with one bag of fresh spinach and two cans of chicken broth.
When it comes to a boil, add a can of garbanzos and a generous two cups of red lentils. (It's gotta be red lentils, ordinary brown or green lentils don't taste the same, and take more liquid and time to cook.) Cook about 12 minutes.
Using two cans of broth instead of the three in the original recipe produced a less soupy dish than the Epicurious picture, which was good because the Engineer doesn't like "au jus."
Serve topped with a dollop of yogurt along with the chicken thighs, crusty whole grain bread and a green salad.