Make Ahead

Chicken & Lentil Cholent

December 27, 2010
0 Ratings
  • Serves 6 to 8
Author Notes

Lentils are so comforting. Deli food is warming. So if there was ever a bowl full of soul this just might be it. I am hesitant to call this dish cholent but maybe should call it hamin. Hamin would more than likely have chicken in it than beef and would be served along side rice instead of barley. At this point in my research on cholent I have seen as many combinations as pizza has pizza toppings so the only thing left to answer is do you cook it from Friday to Saturday in observance of the Sabbath. Well that is up to you. I don't because this version cooks up quick and easy and I like cholent anytime. —thirschfeld

What You'll Need
  • For the cholent
  • 1 chicken, 3 to 4 pounds, cut into 10 pieces, skin removed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 carrots, peeled, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 4 celery stalks, cleaned, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup onions, small dice
  • 1/4 cup garlic, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 1 cinnamon stick, 3 inches long
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 8 yukon gold potatoes, peeled
  • 3/4 cup Umbrian or du Puy lentils
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced
  • For the millet
  • 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
  • 1 cup millet
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced
  • kosher salt and fresh ground white pepper
  1. Season the chicken on all sides with salt and pepper. Heat a 4 quart Dutch oven over high heat. Add the olive oil and then brown the chicken on all sides lowering the heat as necessary to keep the fond in the bottom of the pan from burning. Remove the pieces from the pot.
  2. Add the onions, carrot and celery and saute until they take on some color. Add the garlic, cinnamon, bay leaves and rosemary. Clean a spot on the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon and drop the tomato paste onto it and let it caramelize for a second or two. Stir the pot.
  3. Add the white wine and let the alcohol burn off. Add the water and the lentils. Top with the chicken and snuggle in the potatoes. Season with white pepper only. You don't want to salt it until the end or the lentils will take longer to cook.
  4. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Set a timer for 50 minutes.
  5. Place a 2 quart sauce pan over medium heat. Add a glug of olive oil and sweat the shallots. Add the millet and stir to coat it with the oil. Season it with salt and pepper. Add the water and bring the pot to a boil.
  6. Reduce the heat to a simmer and simmer for thirty minutes or until tender to the tooth. Then check and stir the cholent and make sure it is coming along nicely and reduce or turn up the heat as necessary.
  7. When the millet becomes tender drain it in a colander and then dump it back into the pan. Stir in the parsley.
  8. Make sure the potatoes are cooked through and the chicken is tender. Season with salt, stir in the parsley, and taste. Adjust the seasoning and then serve with sides of millet.
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See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)
    Ordinary Blogger (Rivki Locker)
  • drbabs
  • luvcookbooks
  • thirschfeld
  • pierino

13 Reviews

Steve J. January 23, 2016
This was delicious! Used Sweet Potato instead of Yukon Gold because we were in the midst of a snow storm and it worked out great. Also, substituted Quinoa for the millet and it worked out great. Nice depth of flavor.
Ordinary B. January 8, 2011
I made a chulent this week that was very much inspired by this recipe and it was fantastic. I added some spices, sweet potato, brown rice, and I skipped the tomato paste. I also didn't follow the technique, because I had NO TIME! I just tossed it all in a pot. It came out TERRIFIC. Thanks so much.
Here's the link if you want to check it out:
Ordinary B. January 2, 2011
This is an unusual cholent recipe! I've tried so many, with chickpeas, navy/kidney/pinto beans, but I have never seen one with lentils. I am on a mission to find a new favorite cholent for my family and would love to try this one. Would it be okay with you if I tried your recipe next weekend and blogged about it? (You can check out my previous chulent blogs at Please let me know. Thanks!
thirschfeld January 2, 2011
I would be more than happy to have you blog about it. To be honest I have never cooked it overnight so I don't know how the lentils will hold up. If you want to link it to my web sight feel free
Ordinary B. January 2, 2011
Thanks! I've bookmarked the recipe and will attempt it soon. I will definitely link to your site. Thx so much.
drbabs December 29, 2010
Wow, Tom, you can even elevate cholent.
thirschfeld December 29, 2010
Thanks drbabs I never knew it needed elevated but then I am still learning about it
luvcookbooks December 29, 2010
I thought I was the only person in the world who liked cholent. This sounds wonderful. I think as long as there is a meat protein, a starch (at least one!) and a legume, simmered together, it qualifies as a cholent. Jayne Cohen has the greatest cholent recipes in The Gefilte Variations, great winter dishes.
pierino December 29, 2010
In which case you should pick up Claudia Roden's "Book of Jewish Food" as there is a great essay on cholent. I'm not Jewish so I have no reason to be observant other than that I really like cooking for the Jewish holidays. I've spent a lot of time in Rome and Jewish cooking is woven deep into the fabric of Rome's kitchen apron (if that's not a mixed metaphor).
luvcookbooks December 29, 2010
it seems like a complex metaphor (fabric and apron) more than a mixed metaphor, since aprons are made of fabric. it also references cooking with the apron. could be a writing community along with a food community sometimes.
will be checking out the claudia roden book, have seen it but not read it closely. her book of middle eastern food was one of my first inspiring cookbooks. only recently made ful medames but was dreaming of them for decades from her description in that book. :)
thirschfeld December 29, 2010
I have wanted to cook it for years never did so and then I was looking at the Second Ave Deli cookbook a while back and decided when it was cold I would make it, I will make it again and maybe be truer to the real thing and put lima beans in it.
thirschfeld December 28, 2010
thanks pierino and I couldn't agree more
pierino December 27, 2010
Good one Bro T

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