Middle Eastern-Inspired Roasted Chicken Breast with Beluga Lentils and Carrots

Middle Eastern-Inspired Roasted Chicken Breast with Beluga Lentils and Carrots 1280 853 Siobhan Wallace

img_3490When Chef Charles Winhoffer of Fat Goose in Williamsburg, Brooklyn wanted to put roasted chicken on his menu, your standard crispy rosemary-and-thyme creation wasn’t going to cut it. Instead, he looks for inspiration from the Middle East, resulting in Aleppo pepper, cardamom, fennel seed, and the spice blend ras el hanout all making appearances in this dish. The lentils and carrots are a must for making this a hearty cold-weather meal. And don’t skip the dried hibiscus in the stock. They add a certain floralness and acidity you won’t be able to recreate. If you can’t find them in your local Latino grocery store, they are widely available online. Look to pair this with a richer red wine, like Castello delle Regine’s ‘Princeps’, a Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Sangiovese Italian blend; or Millbrook’s Cabernet Franc.

For the lentils:
8 ounces Beluga lentils (washed and checked for debris)
1½ quart vegetable stock
3 bay leaves
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons ras el hanout

In a 2-quart pot, add lentils, vegetable stock, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 mins on low heat, until just tender. Add salt, cook a few more minutes. Drain and reserve excess liquid. Take 2 ounces of the lentils and transfer to blender. Add ⅓ cup of reserved liquid and ras el hanout. Blend on high until smooth.

For the carrots:
5 baby carrots, cleaned and trimmed
2 tablespoons cumin seed
1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Combine all in a bowl and toss together to coat evenly. Make a foil packet and add carrots, bake in 400°F oven for 20 mins, until tender.

For the carrot puree:
3 medium sized carrots
1 quart carrot juice
½ cup ginger juice
Apple cider vinegar

Wash and peel carrots, thinly slice. Add juices to a pot along with carrots, and cook over medium heat until carrots are tender and liquid has reduced by ⅔. Move all to blender and puree until smooth. Season with salt, and apple cider vinegar to taste.


For the chicken and hibiscus jus:
1 whole Pennsylvanian Chicken
4 tablespoons canola oil
4 ounces butter, plus one good-sized pat
1 tablespoon star anise
1 tablespoon fennel seed
1 tablespoon green cardamom
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 carrot, sliced
1 Spanish onion, sliced
3 stalks of celery, sliced
2 quarts chicken stock (if store-bought unsalted)
4 tablespoons hibiscus leaves

3 bay leaves
2 cloves of garlic
2 slices of fresh ginger
Aleppo pepper, to taste
Apple cider vinegar, to taste

Break down your chicken, removing the wings from the 2nd joint, leaving the drumette attached to the breast. Continue to remove legs (reserving for other use), then remove the breast. Chop up all remaining bones.

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add in bones and cook on medium high heat until all are browned. Remove bones and oil, add the pat of butter and spices (not hibiscus), then add vegetables. Cook until thoroughly browned, add bones back in and cook for two more minutes, then add chicken stock. Cover and cook on low for 45 minutes. Strain and reduce, by half. Add hibiscus and reduce by half again. Season with salt and vinegar, strain.

To finish:
Start by drying off chicken breast and seasoning liberally with salt and black pepper. Heat a cast iron pan, add oil, and when slightly starting to smoke, add breast skin side down, keep pressing on the breast for 45 seconds. Turn heat down to medium heat, and cook until starting to become golden around the edges, transfer to the 400°F oven for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and place back on the heat. Add butter, garlic, sliced ginger, and bay leaves and baste for 2 minutes over medium heat. Turn breast over and baste 4 more times, remove from pan and let rest for 10 minutes. Add your roasted carrots to the pan and quickly brown the outside, finish with Aleppo pepper, salt and a splash of vinegar. Remove from the pan.

Heat the lentils up and add enough puree to make it saucy, season with salt and a little more vinegar to taste. Place a line of the lentils on the left side your plate, a scoop of the puree to the right. Slice your breast on the bias twice and arrange on top of the lentils. Arrange your carrots around the breast and spoon the jus over top. Serve.

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