We may be all trying to beat the bulge after the long bank holiday weekend; so Joe Shanon, head chef from the Radisson Blu in Sligo was here to help us get back in the saddle with his chicken supreme dished up with a puy lentil ragu, some sweet potatoes, a bourbon puree & fried leeks.
6 breasts of chicken, skin on (you can remove after cooking if you like)
Simply heat a pan, add some oil, add chicken skin side down and seal on both sides.
Place in a pre-heated oven, seasoned with salt and pepper and a cople of sprigs of thyme and cook to core temperature of 75c.
Baste every couple of minutes to keep chicken nice and moist.
For the Puy lentil Ragu
2 tbsp olive oil 2 large red onions (450g/1lb) finely diced 3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped 1 mild red chilli, seeded and finely chopped ½ tsp turmeric 1 small cinnamonstick 1 whole star anise 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed (retaining the black seeds inside) 250g Puy lentil rinsed about 700ml/1¼ pints hot chicken stock or vegetable stock 1 large tomato A large handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped A large handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan set over a low to medium heat. Add in the onions, garlic and chilli and stir well. Gently cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and lightly coloured.
Now, add all the spices into the onion mixture and gently fry for 1-2 minutes. Add the lentils and stock, then bring to the boil, uncovered, over a raised heat. Reduce to a steady simmer and cook for 15-20 minutes, adding a pinch of salt.
Halve the tomato, flick out the seeds, then chop the flesh into a nice dice and set aside.
When the lentils are just tender but the consistency of the mixture is still sloppy and juicy (add more stock or water if necessary), remove the pan from the heat and fish out as many of the spices as possible.
Season with black pepper, check to see if more salt is needed, then stir in the tomato and the herbs.