Take 2 – a really delicious chicken dinner

This meal was invented on a sunday night.  I’d been to my local market that morning and picked up a lovely little organic chook and had re-stocked fruit and veg for the week.  By the way, the chook in the photo is Pineapple – an egg laying pet – not a meat hen!  Before I put my fresh veg in the fridge, I like to go through anything left over from the previous week and try to use it up.  This meal is awesome because everything goes into one baking dish and you could add virtually any vegetables you want to use up.

So I found some pumpkin, a leek and spinach plus I had bought some gorgeous cherry tomatoes.  I also had some pancetta in the fridge, lots of lemons, garlic and chilli.  The rest came from the pantry.  I hope you enjoy this delicious and nutritious meal.

You will need:
1 small great quality chicken (preferable organic)
1/2 cup brown or puy lentils
1 cup hot chicken stock
few sprigs of rosemary
a few cloves of garlic (one per person) – unpeeled
diced pumpkin
1 large leek – sliced
a big handful of cherry tomatoes
150gm thin pancetta – cut into strips
lemon juice
1 red chopped chilli
handful of washed and chopped spinach
Crusty bread to serve









Heat oven to 180 degrees celcius.  Into a large baking pan, put the lentils, hot chicken stock, rosemary, garlic, pumpkin and leek. 

Remove the backbone from a small chicken and flatten the bird out.  Place on top of the vegetables in the baking dish.  Give it a light smear with olive oil.  Place in oven for 15 minutes. 

After 15 minutes, take the pan out of the oven and add lots of cherry tomatoes and some diced pancetta (bacon or proscuitto would be fine too) and drape a few slices over the chicken.  Cook for another 25 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked.  My chicken was small so 40 minutes was plenty.

Remove from the oven and put the chook on a warm plate to rest.  To the lentil and vegetable mix, add a good squeeze of lemon juice, some fresh black pepper, the chilli and spinach.