Shafer Recipes

Curried Lentils, Chicken and Sweet Potatoes with Heirloom Forbidden Rice


In a saucepan, bring rice, water and a pinch of salt to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low an simmer until water has been absorbed, 40-45 minutes. When done, fluff with a fork and keep warm for serving.

While rice is simmering: Pat chicken dry and season lightly with salt and pepper. In a heavy, large sauteuse pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the chicken and brown, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add the onion to the pan and sauté until opaque. Add garlic and continue just until it is fragrant. Stir in curry powder and fresh ginger. Add chicken broth and sweet potatoes. Stir to combine. Add chicken back to the pan, turn to coat and bring just to a boil. Cover the pan, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring and turning the chicken over occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add lentils and continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes, or until chicken and vegetables are cooked through. Transfer chicken to a medium bowl and, using 2 forks, shred the meat; return it to the sauteuse. Add the lime juice and stir to combine. Serve topped with yogurt and cilantro, and (optional) Naan with lime wedges on the side.

*Curry powder

Yield: approx. 2 Tablespoons (note: store remainder that is not used up to 5 days)

2 teaspoons coriander seed

2 teaspoons cumin seed

1½ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

¾ teaspoon ground turmeric

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon dry mustard

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

¼ teaspoon ground fenugreek seeds (optional)

Dash ground cloves

Dash ground cardamom


Heat small sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add coriander and cumin. Toast seeds, tossing constantly, until fragrant. Transfer to spice grinder to grind. Toss with remaining ingredients.

In Your Glass

This dish is a favorite in our house in part because it fills the kitchen with the appetizing scents of winter comfort food – chicken, lentils and sweet potatoes – with a curried twist. You’ll have plenty of delicious choices when reaching for a bottle out of your wine rack. There’s lots of natural richness to make me pull out a Cabernet Sauvignon such as One Point Five® and yet at the same time I could easily see loving this with a Malbec or a Merlot. Let the mood in your kitchen help you decide.