Sometimes you just need a recipe to help clean out your system. Yeah… I said it. Lentils are high in fiber, which supports regular “movements” and the allows for the growth of healthy gut bacteria. This recipe is a plus in that it actually tastes good too!
Besides the chicken, the recipe is very vegetarian/vegan friendly. Fresh tomatoes replace any tomato sauce and the chunky onions help give the dish more texture. Be prepared to also dump out your entire spice cabinet getting the flavors right.
As I usually do, I buy bulk family-size chicken and cook them all at once even knowing I’m only going to use half the amount for the particular dish. So don’t think 8 pieces of chicken thighs is required because that would be absurd.
Both sides of the chicken were liberally seasoned with curry powder, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, and cumin, and were cooked in the IP on high saute mode until crispy. Pull the beautifully browned/yellow pieces of chicken out of the pot, and relish in the gorgeous golden juice left over. This! This is what you want.
In the now empty pot (besides the chicken juices), saute the chopped onions. 5-10 minutes with frequent stirring until softened.
Then add the chopped tomatoes and stir for a few minutes before the garlic. The stewed vegetables should be a brown/yellow hue and the kitchen should be quite fragrant.
Throw back in the seared chicken (shove it down sightly), and add as much chicken broth (or a water combination) to just reach the top of the chicken pieces.
A quick 15 minutes on high pressure cook and the chicken will be as tender as ever, and the tomatoes sweetly stewed.
Last time removing the chicken I swear – but place them into a heat-safe container and cool to the side. Meanwhile add the lentils to the stewed juices and pressure for an additional 10 minutes. Once chicken is cool, pull apart and mix with the depressurized lentils.
Granted, it is a few steps out of the way for a delicious meal; but if the time permits, it’s totally worth it. Will you spend more time in the bathroom than you’d wish? Perhaps, but it’s all for a deliciously solid gut-cleansing purpose. Better tasting than any laxatives you’d find in the grocery store, that’s for sure.
- 4 pieces chicken thighs, skin-on, bone-in
- 1 cup lentils
- 3-5 large ripe tomatoes, chopped
- 2-3 large onions, chopped
- few heads of garlic, chopped
- 2 tsp paprika
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp cumin
- salt/pepper to taste
- Around 4 cups chicken broth (or water), give or take
- Season the chicken thighs liberally with the paprika, red pepper flakes, curry powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt/pepper. Rub on both sides after patting to dry.
- Bring the Instant Pot to high on saute with a splash of vegetable oil in the bottom. When hot, add the chicken in skin-down. Only 5 or so minutes is needed on each side. Once browned, remove chicken to the side and keep saute on but reduce to medium.
- Add the chopped onion for about 5 minute or so. Add the tomatoes and garlic as well and continue to stir for an additional 5 minutes more.
- Now take the chicken thighs and place them back into the IP with the vegetables. Push the meat down to the bottom, and fill enough chicken stock (or mix with water) to reach just the top of the chicken pieces. It could be between around 4 cups or so, depending. As long as everything is barely submerged, it is fine.
- Pressure high for 15 minutes. Walk away, have a glass of wine or two. Once done, let it slow release about 5 minutes then open. Pull out the chicken pieces and put them in a heat-safe container and set to the side to cool.
- The Instant Pot should now only have the stewed vegetables and liquid remaining. Make sure sure there’s enough liquid, about 3 cups or so (if not, add more). Then add the lentils, stir gently, and close the lid. Pressure high for 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, shred the chicken pieces once cool and set to the side.
When the IP comes to time, slow release 5 minutes. Sir in the chicken and season to taste. If using store-bought chicken broth it might be salted enough. I added just a bit more salt and pepper, and a few dashes of curry powder and served with chopped cilantro.