River Cottage Light & Easy recipe for Chicken & Lentil Casserole

Published Saturday, Jan 31 2015, 17:00 GMT  |  By  |  Add comment
The temperature has seriously dropped, so we're opting for comforting dinners to warm us up. One fabulous idea is this delicious chicken and lentils combo from River Cottage TV chef, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's  chicken with lentils and rosemary

© Simon Wheeler

This delightful one-pot supper involves cooking together the likes of chicken, lentils, rosemary and onions for a succulent and filling meal. Simple but tasty, this casserole is an easy dish to whip up on a winter's night.


  • 2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 200g red lentils, well rinsed
  • 500ml chicken or veg stock
  • 8 skin-on, bone-in, freerange chicken thighs, or 1 medium chicken (about 1.75kg), jointed into 6–8 pieces
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to finish


1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Choose a flameproof casserole dish or a wide, ovenproof pan that will hold all the chicken pieces snugly but comfortably.

2 Put the casserole on a medium-low heat. Add the oil, then the onion and cook, stirring regularly, for 6–8 minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, rosemary and some salt and pepper. Cook gently for a further 5 minutes, then stir in the lentils and stock.

3 Season the chicken thighs and place skin side up in the casserole. You want most of the chicken skin to remain exposed above the liquid in the dish so it can brown in the oven.

4 Bring to a simmer on the hob, then transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, for 1 hour. Check that the chicken is cooked right through and the lentils are soft. If not, return to the oven for 10–15 minutes and test again. Skim off any excess fat from the surface.

5 Taste the lentilly liquor and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve, scattered with chopped parsley, just as it is or with steamed broccoli or spring greens on the side.

Nutrition Information

Serves 4

 Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall's River Cottage Light & Easy book cover

© Simon Wheeler

Extract taken from River Cottage Light & Easy, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, published by Bloomsbury, £25.00, Hardback

More comforting recipes:

Braised beef With Horseradish Dumplings
Spicy Chicken Stew
Cheese and Leek Bread Pudding
Chilli Sausage and Lentil Casserole

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