Poached Chicken with Lardons and Lentils


Tuck into a wholesome bowl of poached chicken with crispy lardons and healthy lentils from Nigella Lawson's "Nigella Kitchen" cookbook. Photo credit: Lis Parsons


  • 2 tablespoons garlic-flavored oil

  • 4 ounces smoked lardons, cubed pancetta, or 8 slices smoked bacon, chopped

  • 1 carrot, halved lengthwise and coarsely chopped

  • 1 leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise and coarsely chopped

  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

  • ½ teaspoon dried mint

  • Freshly grated zest of 1 lemon

  • ¾ cup French green lentils

  • 1 teaspoon English mustard

  • 1 or 2 skinless boneless chicken breasts with wing bone attached

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Heat oil in a small or medium (depending on how many chicken breasts you are cooking) heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium-high heat. Add lardons, carrot, leek, parsley, mint, and lemon zest and cook, stirring frequently, until lardons are crisp and vegetables are soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in lentils and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add mustard and stir to combine.

  2. Place chicken on top of lentil mixture in saucepan and add 2 (or 3 if cooking 2 chicken breasts) cups water. Bring to a boil and cover; reduce heat to a simmer and cook until chicken is cooked through and lentils are tender, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  3. Serve immediately or remove saucepan from heat and uncover. Let cool at room temperature for no more than 1 hour. Cover saucepan and transfer to refrigerator for up to 2 days. To reheat, place saucepan over medium-high heat and cook until heated through. This dish is best served when made in advance.

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