Poached Chicken, Puy Lentil and Warm Red Cabbage Salad

, from Issue #48. August, 2015
Photography by Manja Wachsmuth.
Poached Chicken, Puy Lentil and Warm Red Cabbage Salad

Make sure you don’t overcook the red cabbage, as you want the slight crunch of the cabbage to contrast with the soft lentils and tender chicken.

Serves: 6


3 boneless chicken breasts, skin on
1 lemon, sliced into 1cm rounds
1 teaspoon sea salt

¾ cup Puy lentils, rinsed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¾ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ small red cabbage, thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
juice and zest 1 large lemon
small handful chopped mint or flat-leaf parsley (or use both)
1/3 cup hazelnuts, roasted and roughly chopped

1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon cold water
1 clove garlic, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground pepper 


Place the chicken, sliced lemon and salt in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring just to a simmer then reduce the heat to very low and poach gently for about 5 minutes. Take off the heat, cover and leave for 30 minutes to finish the cooking process. Remove the chicken and lemon slices.

Salad: Cook the lentils in plenty of boiling salted water for about 20 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse in cold water then drain again. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan and cook the onion with a pinch of salt until tender. Add the garlic, cumin and allspice and cook for a few seconds. Add the cabbage, turning to coat in the spices and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 8 minutes until tender but still slightly crisp, turning often. Add the lemon juice and zest and the lentils, and cook for a couple of minutes to warm the lentils.

Dressing: Whisk all the ingredients in a bowl and season with salt and pepper.

To serve: Stir most of the herbs into the salad and divide between serving bowls. Shred the chicken and arrange over the top then drizzle with the dressing. Dice the reserved lemon slices and scatter over the salad along with the remaining herbs and the hazelnuts.