Preheat the oven to 350º F (160°C).
In a large Dutch oven or oven-safe saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat. Add the celery, carrot and onion, stir to combine and cover with a lid for about 5 minutes to sweat the vegetables. Add the garlic and flour and cook for another 2-3 minutes, stirring to thoroughly distribute the flour. Add the thyme, bay leaf, mustard, lentils, stock and wine, and stir to combine.
In a separate skillet, add another tablespoon of oil and sauté the chicken thighs in one or two batches just until nicely browned (don’t worry about cooking them through). Add the browned chicken to the Dutch oven, and push them down into the liquid. Add salt and pepper to taste (hold off salting if your chicken stock is not low-sodium), cover with a lid or foil, and bake in the oven for 1 1/2-2 hours until the chicken and lentils are cooked through, checking occasionally to be sure there is still an inch or two of liquid in the pot. Top up with water if required. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stems (if you used fresh).
Once cooked, the braise can be served with one thigh per person, or the thighs can all be transferred to a plate and allowed to cool until safe to handle, at which point the meat can be removed from the bones, coarsely shredded and returned to the pot.
Serve over potatoes and top with the green beans if you wish, or simply ladle into bowls as is.
- Serves: 6
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- 2-3 tbsp (30 mL) canola oil
- 1 stalk celery, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 carrot, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
- 1 onion, large, finely-chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 1 1/2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp (2.5 mL) thyme, dried
- 4 sprigs thyme, fresh
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) Dijon mustard
- 1 1/4 cup (315 mL) green lentils, dry
- 20 fl oz (595 mL) (570 mL) low-sodium chicken broth, undiluted
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine
- 1/2 cup (125 mL) apple juice, unsweetened
- 1 1/2 lb (0.7 kg) bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed, about 5-8 thighs, depending on size
- salt, to taste
- pepper, freshly ground, to taste
- mashed or boiled potatoes, for serving (optional)
- green beans, steamed, for serving (optional)
Browning the chicken thighs separately helps boost flavour in this dish, but if pressed for time they can be added right into the stew.