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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
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Ladle into bowls and top with parmesan cheese.