This recipe is a healthier update on my mom's famous British-Indian curry, which has apricot jam, white rice and peas.
I have to admit that I've only just begun cooking with lentils (it's ridiculous, I don't know what I've been doing all these years), but I am a total convert because they're so easy and quick to prepare – especially in this recipe.
I made this dish for my family over Christmas in Victoria and my dad suggested red lentils instead of green, which I think I actually like better. The green lentils keep their shape, as you can see above, but the red lentils turn to mush so they soak up even more of the delicious sauce. The cooking instructions are the same for both, they'll just look different in the end.
This is such an easy dinner to make – you just throw everything into one roasting pan so it leaves you with very little dishes, yahoo!
- 1 whole chicken, backbone removed, butterflied
- 2 cups dry lentils (green or red)
- 1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 lb tub spinach, chopped (it looks like way too much but will significantly reduce once it’s cooked)
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 bulb garlic, whole cloves peeled
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- Preheat oven to 375F.
- Combine spices, salt and pepper in small bowl.
- Add half the spice mixture to lentils and stock in large roasting pan and stir to combine.
- Arrange onion and garlic over lentil mixture and top with chicken.
- Brush chicken with oil and sprinkle with remaining spice mixture.
- Bake, uncovered, for about 55 minutes.
- Remove roasting pan from oven and arrange spinach around chicken, pushing down so it all fits. Baste chicken while it's out.
- Cook for about another 20 minutes.
- Remove chicken to serving platter and stir spinach and lentils to combine.
- Divide chicken and lentils into 6 portions and serve immediately.