Poached Chicken & Lentil Curry
Poached Chicken & Lentil Curry by Alan Rigby Head Chef and Co Proprietor Cross Scythes Totley
For The Curry
¼ Medium Onion
1 Stick of Celery
5g Curry Spice
1 Cardomon Pod
1 400g tin Coconut Milk
Salt & Pepper to Taste
For the Poached Chicken
2 Chicken Breasts
5-6 Black Peppercorns
For the Raita
250g Plain Yoghurt
5g Mint Leaves (about 10)
2g Ground Cumin
Salt & Pepper to Taste
For the Sweet Chilli Sauce
1 Red Chilli
160g White Wine Vinegar
1 Clove of Garlic
Pinch of Chilli Powder – according to your tastes
All of these components can be made in advance so long as care is taken to ensure that both the lentils and chicken are cooled quickly, and piping hot when reheated. (In pans with enough water to cover)
Dice the Onion, Carrot & Celery into 2mm cubes –very fine. If the spices are not ground already, use a pestle and mortar to grind them down.
Heat some oil in a pan and gently sweat the vegetables off for 5 minutes on a low heat, adding the spices halfway through the process.
Add the lentils and mix well with all the vegetables and spices.
Add the coconut milk & top up with water so the lentils are submerged by about a centimetre. Bring up to the boil & simmer gently. Add water as needed until the lentils are cooked to your liking (ideally with just a slight ‘bite’ in the middle without being hard or gritty)
Once the lentils are cooked, add salt & pepper to taste – not before or there can be a tendency for them to toughen up.
To get the circular shape in the picture, wrap the chicken breasts in clingfilm separately, tie the ends tightly, ensuring that you expel as much of the air as possible. This is a cosmetic touch, and will not affect the taste of the dish if you don’t feel the need to do it.
Place the chicken in cold water with the bay leaf & peppercorns and bring to the boil. Turn down & allow them to simmer gently until the chicken is cooked through – 8-10 minutes once at boiling point depending on the size of the breasts. Test them with a skewer and ensure only clear juices run out.
These can then be sliced into medallions ready for serving. If not for use straight away, then don’t cut them before you need to or they can dry out.
De-seed the cucumber, the seeds can be discarded, then dice it into ½ centimetre pieces. Finely chop the mint leaves, and mix all the ingredients together well.
Sweet Chilli Sauce
Dice the chilli (the seeds can be kept in or discarded depending on how you hot you want it to be). Place in a pan with the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer for 5 minutes and allow to cool.
Hints & Tips
Soaking the lentils overnight beforehand in cold water helps the cooking process & lightens the texture.
Marinating the chicken overnight in a brine solution will get the seasoning all the way through the meat