My Condo Smells Great

Apparently I’m on a roll because I just whipped up a brand new dish for dinner. And let me tell you, it smells delicious.

For those keeping track, this is the fifth new recipe for me this year. I guess this is the silver lining to physically distancing. That, and crushing COVID-19 of course.

Tonight’s recipe – Moroccan Braised Chicken, Lentils, Smoked Paprika & Tomato – comes from Chef Mike Ward. I stumbled on the recipe after searching the Googles for chicken and lentil based recipes, because, well, I had chicken and lentils on hand. Truth be told, the minute I saw the image of the final product I was convinced that I needed to make it.

I was also encouraged by the the fact that the recipe was only supposed to require 10 minutes of prep time and 40 minutes to cook. Since I tend to clean as I go (and I’m by no means speedy in the kitchen), I actually required about 20 minutes to prep everything. Regardless, the recipe is super easy and my condo currently smells like a delicious warm hug.

The final product doesn’t quite look like what was advertised. I assume that my attempt looks different mainly because it’s not in the same kind of fancy pan as what Chef Mike recommended. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact that I substituted canned whole tomatoes in place of the cherry tomatoes and I didn’t have any fresh parsley to garnish it. I also replaced the chicken stock with vegetable stock and water, the chili flakes with chili powder, and the smoked paprika with regular paprika, but I’m sure that had nothing to do with it. Because basically, my Moroccan Braised Chicken & Lentils is exactly the same as Chef Mike’s.

As for the final product – it’s quite nice and definitely something I’d make again. The chicken is super tender and juicy and the flavours are good. However, since I had a spicy lamb vindaloo for dinner last night (and lunch today), I think I was expecting more of a punch. Perhaps that was expecting too much considering there wasn’t much time for the flavours to be absorbed by the chicken or the lentils. I suspect that the leftovers I’m going to be eating for lunch tomorrow will be that much better because they’ll have had time to marinate overnight.

Final verdict – I would definitely make this again. But next time I’ll be sure to use cherry tomatoes, add some more garlic, and replace the chili powder with chili flakes.

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