Make Ahead

Hearty Chicken & Lentil Stew

March 13, 2012
7 Ratings
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

This stew will delight any chicken fan. The meat to veggie scale is heavily weighted on the chicken side. And it’s all swimming in a warm, super thick chickeny bath. Use homemade chicken stock if you have it (if you don’t, it’s time to make some!) – it really intensifies the chickenyness of this stew. Yes, I just said chickenyness. —Kitchenette

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 small chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground celery seed
  • 8 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup marsala wine (or white wine)
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 leek, rinsed well and sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 2 medium red potatoes, diced
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 handfuls fresh baby spinach (about 3 ounces)
  • 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • parmesan cheese, for garnish
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat. Season the chicken with salt, pepper, and the celery seed on both sides. Add to the pot, skin side down, and scatter the thyme sprigs around the pot. Cook the chicken about 5 minutes per side, then add the marsala wine, allowing most of it to evaporate while the chicken finishes cooking.
  2. Take the chicken out of the pot and tent with foil. Remove the thyme stems. Add the butter, shallots, leeks, and a pinch of salt, stir to combine. Cook for a few minutes until the leeks are softened. Add the carrots, potatoes, and another pinch of salt, cook 5 more minutes.
  3. Add the chicken stock, lentils, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil over high heat. Lower the heat to medium and simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile remove the skin form the chicken and shred into bite size pieces.
  4. When the lentils have fallen apart and thickened the stew, remove the bay leaf and add the shredded chicken and spinach; stir. Cook for a couple more minutes to warm the chicken and wilt the spinach. Off the heat, add the vinegar and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • annemlock
  • Ldmcclure
  • kara
  • mstv

5 Reviews

Ldmcclure September 7, 2023
Perfect recipe. Thank you I will keep this forever!
kara January 28, 2019
Wonderful dish! I took some of the comments and incorporated. Used fresh celery instead of the seed. Substituted sherry for the marsala (and finished with sherry vinegar). Added an extra carrot and leek. Used skinless thighs (but will used skin on next time). Will be sharing with friends and put on repeat.
mstv January 2, 2017
This is a wonderful recipe. This has become one of my favorite soups/stews. I prefer using (2 stalks) fresh celery instead of the celery seed. I add it in with the carrots and potatoes. Also, I wanted to share that I have had great luck making this with leftover roast chicken or turkey. I just deglaze the pan with the white wine after cooking the leeks and shallots and before adding the other veggies. Then I add shredded/chopped meat at the end. I normally have kale on hand but not baby spinach. Both work really well. I have also subbed in a bit of extra lentils when I don't have as much meat as called for in the recipe. Finally, I have found that I prefer a bit of lemon juice rather than the vinegar at the end.
JBF O. March 20, 2016
just finished making this and it's very good. I used chicken thighs that were large so cooked at least 10 min longer. They were still not cooked thru so added with the chicken stick and lentils. When they were done I removed them, shredded and threw back into the soup. There's no sign of the red lentils. I'm thinking of serving with a grain to thicken it a little more.
annemlock November 24, 2015
I came across this recipe a few weeks ago, and gave it a chance. I wanted to report back that it was incredible - the red lentils gave it an incredible texture. Looking forward to making it again soon. (Quick notes, I used maybe about 1.5 lbs of chicken thighs, and didn't have white wine so subbed in sherry(!) and it turned out lovely.)