If like me you have a tendency to turn into a guest at your own dinner parties then this dish of Braised Chicken with Porcini, Pancetta and Lentils is the perfect solution, as it can be left to gently cook for 1-2 hours before serving. All you then have to do is rest the meat, carve and simply add crème fraiche to the lentil mixture. No more missing out on the fun! This can be made using pheasant or guinea fowl in the place of the chicken. The magical combination of the porcini mushrooms, sherry and pancetta create a wonderfully rich flavour.
Braised Chicken with Porcini, Pancetta & Lentils
- 1 large chicken or 2 small guinea fowl/pheasants
- 10g/¼oz dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 30ml boiling water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 30g butter
- 200g/7oz pancetta piece, cut into 1cm cubes
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 200ml dry sherry (I use pale dry amontillado sherry)
- 100ml chicken stock
- 150g Puy lentils
- 200g/7oz chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 4 tbsp full-fat crème fraîche
- Step 1 Season and sauté chicken in oil and butter in heavy based pan till golden brown.
- Step 2 Remove from pan and set aside.
- Step 3 Sauté pancetta till crisping, then add the chestnut mushroom and cook for a further 5 mins.
- Step 4 Add thyme, sherry, stock and lentils and soaked porcini plus soaking liquid. Place chicken on top and put lid on and transfer to oven for min 1 hour preferably 2 hours at 170’C, fan 150’C until cooked through.
- Step 5 Remove from oven and let the chicken stand to rest for 10 mins covered with foil.
- Step 6 Stir crème fraîche through the lentil mixture.
- Step 7 Carve chicken and pour lentil mixture over and serve with Cavolo Nero leaves.