As soon as we enter the cold and dark season the need for comfort food arises before you even notice it. I start dreaming of simmering stews served with seasonal mashed root vegetables, warm hearty soups, porridge in the morning, apple pies for desert and of course steaming flavour filled hot pots. There is something absolutely adorable about preparing and serving your meal in one big rustic pot.
A meal like this explode with flavour since all the juices from the chicken and vegetables together with the wine create a natural broth that provide liquid for the lentils as they cook. Furthermore the chicken gets very tender and the vegetables almost melt in your mouth. Raisins and almonds are added as a little twist, and those raisins are simply amazing when they soak up the liquid and almost burst i your mouth when you bite into them, while the almonds add a little crunch and wholesomeness.
The dish is super easy to prepare and a perfect meal for those of us who have some busy times ahead. You simply combine all the raw ingredients in the hot pot – place it in the oven and let it cook on its own for approximately one and a half hour. I promise you everyone will enjoy this meal, we even had a little darling 8 month old little girl at the table who happily ate from the hot pot.
You can of course use different kinds of vegetables, herbs and lentils and try to experiment with white wine, or apple cider if you prefer a lighter dish. The flavour will still become intense and delicious.
Organic Apple stuffed Chicken roasted on top of Celeriac & Beluga Lentils
Serves 4 for dinner
1 organic chicken
2 big carrots
2 red onions
1 whole garlic
3/4 cup beluga lentils (2 dl)
2 sweet apples
4-5 sprigs of rosemary
50 g hazelnuts
2 handfuls of raisins
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 ground cumin
1 cup red wine (250 ml)
2-3 cups water (500-750 ml)
1 Tbsp Salt
Fresh ground pepper
Juice and zest from 1 organic lemon (safe a few slices lemon)
2 tsp honey or sirup
1 tsp soya
1/2 tsp ground vanilla
1/8 tsp hot chill powder
Peel the celeriac and chop into small squares. Peel onion and cut into 1/8 boats. Break up the garlic, but keep on the peel. Chop carrots into smaller pieces.
Place all the vegetables, lentils, raisin and nuts in a hotpot – use your hands to mix in cardamom, salt, cumin and fresh ground pepper.
In a bowl stir together all ingredients for the marinade. Now your should try to loosen the skin of the chicken to get your marinade rub down underneath the skin. Use you hands to open op the skin from the neck, work your way down until you have loosened the skin around the entire chicken. pour down the marinade, and rub the chicken thoroughly so all the marinade is divide around inside the pocket of skin. Remove the core of the apples and chop them in chunks. Stuff the chicken with the apples and tie together the legs of the chicken to keep the apples inside.
Place the chicken on top of all the veggies, place rosemary around and underneath the chicken, and gently pour in the red wine and fill up with water so that it touches the downside of the chicken. Finish with a drizzle of salt, fresh ground pepper and place a few lemon slices on and around the chicken. Put on the lid of the hot pot.
Place the hot pot inside the cold oven. Turn on the oven at 250 ºC / 500 ºF. Roast for 1,5 hours.
Serve the dish in the hot pot… have a wonderful dinner!