Monday, December 6, 2010

Curried Chicken and Lentil Stew with Bacon

I didn't discover how delicious curry was until just a few years ago, and ever since then, I have been trying to figure out ways to make it. This recipe, so far, is my favorite way to showcase the flavor. So today I will share with you how I make this yummy stew, and hopefully you'll make a big pot of it and dig into it for the next week...OR keep some in your freezer to eat when you don't feel like cooking! And today I even had the help of my 5 year old son Timothy while making this hearty stew, so enjoy his bright smile and entertaining commentary!
Curried Chicken and Lentil Stew with Bacon

8 oz, uncooked bacon, diced
1 lb. uncooked chicken breast, diced
1 medium onion, diced (I used sweet Vidalia)
3 medium carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 lb bag lentils
1 -- 28 oz can diced tomatoes
7 cups chicken broth (use water and bouillon cubes if needed)
2 TBSP curry powder (I use a blend of mild and hot)
2 TBSP minced garlic
½ tsp black pepper
Salt to taste, if needed at the end of cooking

In a large stock pot, render down the bacon pieces until lightly crisp. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink. Add the mirepoix (onion, carrots, and celery) to the pot, and continue to cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add remaining ingredients, and stir well. Bring to a boil, cover, and then reduce heat to simmer for 45-60 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Serve warm over rice or with a side of Naan bread. I made a "Naan style" flat bread, but I grilled mine, as I do not have a tandoor!

Naan style flatbread:

2 ½ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup milk
½ cup yogurt
1 tablespoon oil
1 beaten egg
1 teaspoon sugar
Add optional spices if you want, such as cumin, or garlic

Mix together dry ingredients. Heat oil in a small saucepan. Add milk, egg and yogurt to pan and heat until just warm, about 3-5 minutes. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix the dough, and knead just until held together. Let rest, covered up to 45 minutes. On floured surface divide dough into equal sized balls, 6-10 of them depending on how big you want your bread. Flatten each ball to about ½ inch thick. On a lightly grease grill pan, place as many as will fit, and grill over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, and then turn over and brush with olive oil or butter. Cook another minute or two until done (reminded me of making pancakes). Keep warm in a covered basket or low oven until ready to eat. ENJOY! 

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