Spring Salad with Chicken and Lentils

Like a lot of people, I’ve been doing a lot of project cooking these past few weeks. It’s therapeutic, it’s distracting and, as always, eating something delicious is a small way to let a little light in every day. But that doesn’t mean I always want to spend the whole day in the kitchen. (Even Michelin-starred chef Eric Ripert makes a frozen pizza now and again.) That’s where these kinds of salads come in…

If I have greens and chicken, I know I can improvise the rest with minimal effort. Here’s a version of that standy-by from Kitchen Repertoire‘s Frances Boswell, who is the master of creating fresh, healthy, high-flavor dinners. If you start with a store-bought rotisserie chicken and pre-cooked lentils, the salad is a 100% assembly job. Here’s how to make it.

Spring Salad with Chicken and Lentils

1 cup picked parsley leaves, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
Juice of one lemon, about 3 tablespoons
8 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups cooked brown lentils (such as Trader Joe’s, or see instructions below)
1 small cooked chicken (roasted or poached or your preferred method) about 3 1/2 pounds, meat shredded
A few handfuls fresh, crisp lettuce leaves of your choice

Combine parsley and capers in a bowl. Add lemon juice and whisk in olive oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Arrange lentils, chicken and lettuce in a serving bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Douse in dressing and serve with an extra drizzle of olive oil if desired.

For cooked lentils
Bring salted water or broth (vegetable or chicken) to a boil. Add brown lentils and simmer until they are cooked through and tender, but still hold their shape. Start tasting and testing for doneness after about 12 minutes.

If you’d like more recipe inspiration from Frances and Kitchen Repertoire photographer Dana, follow them on instagram.

P.S. A one-pan roasted chicken dinner and five-ingredient lemony chicken.

(Photo by Dana Gallagher for Kitchen Repertoire.)