It really only requires one pot in which to cook, and very little tending while it's cooking.
|4 Chicken leg quarters, cut to separate the drumsticks from the thighs||2 t seasoning blend of choice (I suggest Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb or Bell's brands)|
|1 c dry lentils||1 t garlic powder|
|1 cn about 14 - 16 oz., diced tomatoes in juice or water||1 t coarse or Kosher salt|
|1 lb carrots, peeled & cut into chunks||1 c cold water|
|2 c fresh spinach, shredded||2 t cornstarch|
|0.5 c low-sodium chicken broth|
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
In a 5 to 6 quart oven-proof pot or dutch oven, combine all ingredients and stir to combine.
Cover tightly with lid or foil and cook in oven 1 to 2 hours, until carrots and lentils are tender and chicken is cooked through.
OPTIONAL GRAVY: When done, separate stew from pan juices. In a medium-size saucepan, add 2 teaspoons of cornstarch to cup of cold water and blend well with a fork or whisk.
Turn heat on to medium-low and stir cornstarch mixture frequently, slowly adding pan juices while stirring. Bring to simmer for 5 - 10 minutes until heated throughout.
Serve gravy with stew, or pass separately at the table.
NOTES: You can easily vary this by changing the seasonings and a few other ingredients before cooking.
Make it Moroccan inspired by adding a teaspoon or two of ground cumin and/or turmeric, and a dash of saffron threads.
Like Italian? Omit the lentils, and omit or halve the broth and serve over separately prepared pasta; add ¼ teaspoon each basil, oregano, crushed fennel seed, along with the garlic powder and salt.
Asian? Omit lentils & broth & serve over prepared rice, noodles, or shredded cabbage. Add shitake mushrooms & sliced water chestnuts, season with ¼ tsp each ground ginger, onion powder & powdered lemongrass, & a tblsp. each soy, hoisin & oyster sauces.
Powdered lemongrass can be found in most Asian markets, or ordered online.
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