- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 slices of thick-cut bacon, diced
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 quart chicken stock or broth
- 8 garlic cloves, plus 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
- 1 medium carrot, halved lengthwise
- 1 small leek, white and pale green parts only, halved lengthwise
- 1 large green bell pepper, quartered
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 thyme sprig
- 4 large chicken thighs (2 pounds)
- Pimentón de la Vera
- 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 450°. In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add the bacon and cook over moderate heat until golden brown, about 4 minutes. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add the stock, whole garlic cloves, carrot, leek, bell pepper, lentils and thyme and bring to a boil. Simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a baking dish, drizzle the chicken with 1 tablespoon of oil and season with salt and pimentón. Roast on the top rack for about 40 minutes, until cooked through.
- Discard the thyme sprig from the lentils. Transfer the garlic, carrot, leek and bell pepper to a blender. Add 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and puree. Drain the lentils and return them to the pot. Stir in the pureed vegetables.
- In a small skillet, heat the remaining 1/4 cup of oil. Add the chopped garlic and cook over low heat for 1 minute. Add 1 teaspoon of pimentón. Scrape the mixture into the lentils and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the vinegar and season with salt. Serve the lentils in bowls topped with the chicken.
Rich, plummy Merlot.