The dish was inspired in the Charente France while on our Health & Fitness Holiday in 2016. Through some mix up I didn’t have the main ingredient for an evening supper dish and so I pondered what I could rustle up “ready, steady cook!” style at short notice. And Lenotto was born (you see what I did there!!)
Lentils are a great source of complex carbohydrate, protein and as well as being a great source of fibre they are also high in folate and magnesium which is great for heart health. This much overlooked legume is well worth including in your regular diet.
This is really a one pan dish, but I’m a sucker for trying to make my plate look pretty…we do eat with our eyes after all… and so I poach my chicken in a separate pan and then shred and add on top of the dish with a flourish or fresh parsley. You can just bung it all in together….it will still taste great
When you want to enjoy a grain free risotto then this Lenotto is the perfect supper dish.
In a large pan gently dry fry the bacon lardons until they release their fat and then add the onions and garlic and cook until soft.
If you are poaching your chicken separately put this in a pan with just enough water to cover it, a little salt, pepper and a bay leaf and gently simmer for about 20 mins until cooked through. Alternatively, you can just use a precooked chicken breast or chop the chicken and add it to the pot at this stage. Lots of options so pick what works best for you.
Then add the celery, carrot and leek and cover with the stock and cook for about 10 minutes.
Now add the lentils and cook until they are just aldente (probably about 20 minutes) You may need or want to add a little extra stock as you will want your Lenotto to be a sloppy dropping consistency and as the lentils cook it will begin to dry so keep an eye on it.
When the lentils are just al dente then add the peas and beans. Allow them to cook for just a moment or two, we do not want mushy peas and beans in the dish, it’s much nice when they still have a firm fresh bite to them.
When you are ready to serve spoon the Lenotto into a warmed bowl, top with shredded chicken and some flat leaf parsley and serve.