Hugh’s keeping it in the family kitchen

Chicken Lentils With Rosemary
Chicken Lentils With Rosemary

Food writer Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall admits that he has got better at allowing his older children to find their own feet in the kitchen.

“I do think kids have a natural curiosity about food and a natural inclination to get involved in the kitchen,” he said.

Here is a recipe that your family might enjoy too.


(Serves 4)

2tbsp rapeseed or olive oil

1 large onion, sliced

4 garlic cloves, chopped

Leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary

200g red lentils, well rinsed

500ml chicken or veg stock

8 skin-on, bone-in, free-range chicken thighs, or 1 medium chicken (about 1.75kg), jointed into 6-8 pieces

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to finish

Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4. Choose a flameproof casserole dish or a wide, ovenproof pan that will hold all the chicken pieces snugly but comfortably.

Put the casserole on a medium-low heat. Add the oil, then the onion and cook, stirring regularly, for six to eight minutes until it begins to soften. Add the garlic, rosemary and some salt and pepper. Cook gently for a further five minutes, then stir in the lentils and stock.

Season the chicken thighs and place skin side up in the casserole. You want most of the chicken skin to remain exposed above the liquid in the dish so it can brown in the oven. Bring to a simmer on the hob, then transfer to the oven and bake, uncovered, for one hour. Check the chicken is cooked through and the lentils are soft. If not, return to the oven for 10-15 minutes and test again. Skim off excess fat from the surface.

Taste the lentilly liquor and add more salt or pepper if needed. Serve, scattered with chopped parsley, as it is, or with steamed broccoli or spring greens on the side.