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Chicken and Lentil Ragu

One of my favorite recipes. I've made this variation of, "Chicken with Lentils and Spinach" many times over the years. The original recipe is from the cookbook "Cooking Under Pressure" by Lorna J. Sass. It's a fairly friendly recipe for those of you who want to try flavors other than garlic, thyme and basil without breaking the bank purchasing a bunch of spices and specialty items.

While this recipe utilizes a pressure cooker you could probably make it in a large regular sauce pan with a lid. HOWEVER! The cooking time will definitely change and I don't know by how much but, if the lentils and carrots are tender chances are, the chicken will be done as well.

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 Tblsp. olive oil

1 Large onion

1 Tblsp. whole cumin seeds

1 Tblsp. finely minced fresh ginger

1.5 C. dried lentils, picked over and rinsed

2 to 2.5 pounds of boneless/ skinless chicken thigh meat diced

2 large carrots peeled and cut into large pieces

3.5 C chicken stock or water

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon

2/3 cup raisins

10 oz. package forzen leaf spinach defrosted

salt to taste.

Heat the oil in the cooker. Saute the onion until lightly browned, stirring frequently, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the cumin seeds and ginger and saute and additional 10 seconds.

Throw everything else (except the spinach) the chicken, lentils, spices, stock, (or water) raisins, into the pot.

Give it a stir and place the lid on the cooker.

Lock the lid in place and over high heat bring to high pressure. Adjust heat to maintain high pressure and cook for 9 min.

Reduce pressure with a quick- release method. remove the lid tilting it away from you to allow any excess steam to escape.

Squeeze the spinach to release all excess water. Stir in the spinach and add salt to taste.simmer till spinach is cooked.

We had it with Jasmine Rice and some spicy mango chutney.

Eat well my friends.

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