Cast-Iron Roast Chicken with Lentils and Walnut Vinaigrette

This luscious roast chicken is weighted down and cooked in a cast-iron skillet so the skin is extra-crispy.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup black Beluga lentils
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • One 4-pound chicken, backbone removed, chicken halved
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
walnut vinaigrette
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnut oil
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper

How to make this recipe

  1. Make the lentils

    In a medium saucepan, toast the walnuts over moderate heat until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Chop the nuts and transfer to a small bowl. In the same saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the lentils, bay leaf, balsamic vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of water and bring to 
a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are just tender, 15 minutes longer. Stir in the butter and mustard and season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, make the chicken

    Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the olive oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and set breast side down in the skillet. Cover with foil and another large cast-iron skillet. Cook the chicken over moderate heat until golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Flip the chicken halves and roast in the oven, uncovered, until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 165°, about 30 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Whisk the butter into the pan juices and season with salt and pepper. Strain the jus and keep warm.

  3. Make the vinaigrette

    In a small bowl, whisk the walnut oil with the sherry vinegar and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Carve the chicken. Stir the toasted walnuts into the lentils and spoon onto plates. Top with the chicken. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and serve the chicken jus on the side.

Make Ahead

The lentils (without the walnuts) can be refrigerated overnight. Rewarm the lentils before serving.

Suggested Pairing

This flavorful bird is tangy, nutty and earthy. Red blends from Côtes du Rhône tackle all of this.

Contributed By Photo © Con Poulos Published April 2015

1029889 recipes/cast-iron-roast-chicken-lentils-and-walnut-vinaigrette 2015-03-16T23:15:29+00:00 Ryan Angulo roasting|french|4|gluten-free|make-ahead|staff-favorite|weeknight-dinner april-2015 recipes,cast-iron-roast-chicken-lentils-and-walnut-vinaigrette 1029889

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