These billowing waves of lentils and chicken make up a go-to dish to please any dinner table…
I’m all about the one-pot dishes lately. Toss everything in to one vessel, set the temp and go about my day until dinner is magically done. These Lebanese spiced chicken in lentils pretty much fit that bill. All I can say is hallelujah! ‘Cause sometimes ain’t nobody got time for that, correct? Heck, no.
So, let’s get down to business. If you’ve ever heard of the popular South Asian dish, haleem, the method for this meal is very similar and the outcome is incredibly hearty and healthy.
Take a few chicken breasts, a mixture of lentils of your choice, quinoa, chicken broth, chilies, a myriad of Lebanese spices including allspice, cumin, cinnamon sticks, cloves, etc. and throw everything into a huge pot and shut the lid. Poof! Dinner awaits.
Just like haleem, these Lebanese spiced chicken in lentils are made with an instant pot. I was very resistant to purchasing an instant pot or pressure cooker for the longest time because I assumed that my dutch oven would curate the same dishes. I’m not saying this dish and others similar to it can’t be made in a standard dutch oven but trust me when I say the instant pot makes the chicken come out incredibly tender. It also fuses the spices with the ingredients so well that each bite is a burst of flavor with a light and very well blended texture.
Slow cooked caramelized onions, red peppers and garlic mixed with fresh thyme and a side of roasted cauliflower polish off this dish with hearty flavors to complement the traditional Lebanese spices. Can you say YUM?!
The best part about this dish is that it stays really well in the fridge for a few days. In fact, the flavors blend even more overtime so serving the lentils a few days after making them is a no brainer. I’m always looking for meals that easily pack up for my weekday lunches and this is definitely one of them. You just cannot go wrong!
So, if you’re into healthy, hearty dishes that don’t require you to be in the kitchen for hours, this Lebanese spiced chicken in lentils has got your name written all over it! If you try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes! Let me know in the comments below.
Happy cooking y’all!
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- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 2 onions
- 2 cups lentils of your choice
- 1/2 quinoa
- 2-3 cups chicken broth
- 2 chilies of your choice (I used Thai chilies)
- 1 red pepper
- 5 sprigs of thyme
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 2 tbsp allspice
- 1/2 tsp clove powder
- 2 tbsp cumin
- 5 bay leaves
- 1 chicken bouillon
- 1 tbsp cilantro, minced
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Add a large pressure cooker (lid removed) to a stove on medium heat. Add 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle cumin on top and cook until fragrant. Add chicken and mix. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add 1 onion cut in quarters. Add lentils, quinoa, allspice, clove powder, bay leaves, 3 sprigs of thyme, cinnamon sticks, salt and pepper and enough water to cover all ingredients. Mix once and cover tightly with the lid.
- Bring the heat to high and wait for the top to whistle a few times. This will take about 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, add the remaining oil and onion (chopped finely) to a frying pan. Cook on medium-low heat until caramelized. Add garlic, chili peppers and red peppers (chopped finely) to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Once the lid whistles, reduce heat to low and allow to sit for 40 minutes.
- Remove entire pressure cooker and run it under cold water in the sink. Take a fork and release the remaining pressure by lifting the top for a few seconds. Return the pressure cooker to the stove.
- Remove the lid and take out the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks and thyme sprigs. Mix a few times. Add the caramelized onion mixture, bouillon cube and continually add chicken broth to ensure that lentils do not stick. Mix fully.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Add remaining fresh thyme and cilantro and mix fully. Cook for 2 minutes and serve.