Monday, February 22, 2016

"Chicken Chili" aka Lentil Stew with Chicken (GAPS Legal)  NEW CROCK POT INSTRUCTIONS

My kids think they hate lentils.  As a result, any recipe with the word "lentil" in it is automatically rejected.  Lentils are super high in protein and fiber, are inexpensive, and fill our tummies.  So I began a crusade to integrate lentils into our diet.  This recipe went off without a hitch...and they loved it!  So I renamed it "Chicken Chili" and told them I used "mini beans" to make it.  They thought the idea of mini beans was so cool.  I'm still not sure when I'm going to tell them that mini-beans are actually lentils. :)  My kids devoured it with a slice of natural yeast wheat bread (they were wiping their bowls with the bread).

There are now TWO ways to make this meal.  You can plan ahead and finish the recipe in less than 45 minutes, or you can put it all in the crockpot and let it cook all day. Either way, it's delicious!  The Conventional Directions takes a bit of planning (soaking the lentils for 24 hours), but not a lot of babysitting.  The Crock Pot instructions are super simple, and you can add POTATOES to stretch the meal and make it even more delicious.  I've adapted this recipe from "Internal Bliss" cookbook.

2 Tbsp. butter
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 cups lentils, soaked for 24 hours and drained
1 qt+ meat stock (2 quarts for Crock Pot recipe)
1-2 lbs chicken (or pork or beef), grilled or roasted and cut into bite-sized pieces
1 tsp. salt (or to taste)
Pepper to taste
OPTIONAL: 2 cups greens (kale, collard, spinach)

Stove Top Directions:
One day before you plan to cook the chili, rinse and soak lentils (measure 2 cups dry lentils, rinse and remove any stones, add 6 cups water, cover and let sit for 24 hours).

After the soaking is complete, drain the lentils and rinse in a colander.  In large pan, heat the butter on the stove over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until soft.  Add garlic, cumin and paprika, and saute for 5 minutes.

Add lentils (and optional greens) and salt/pepper to the pan and cook for 5 minutes.  Add stock and bring to boil.  Simmer 30+ minutes, until lentils are tender.  Top each serving with chopped chicken (or other meat) and enjoy.  Great with shredded cheese on top, or a side of avocado/guacamole.

Crock Pot Directions:
Rinse lentils and remove any stones.  Add 2 quarts meat stock to the crock pot.  Add rinsed lentils.

In large pan, heat the butter on the stove over medium heat.  Add the onions and saute until soft.  Add garlic, cumin and paprika, and saute for 5 minutes.  Add sauteed mixture to the Crock Pot.  Add salt and pepper.  If desired, add new potatoes on top of mixture (size no bigger than a silver dollar...we used the ones from our garden that we dug too early, or that didn't grow to full size).  The potatoes are FABULOUS...they soak up all of the delicious flavor of the soup.  If you don't have new potatoes, large cut up potatoes may fall apart when cooking, but would still taste good.

Place lid on Crock Pot and turn on High for 3-4 hours or Low for 7-8 hours.

Optional: top each serving with meat or cheese (or both). (If you like spicy, you can add Cayenne Pepper to taste), great with guacamole or avocado. Serve and enjoy!