Beetroot lentil risotto made with earthy, slate green Puy lentils instead of arborio rice. Roasted beetroot, puréed and stirred in. Staining the little green pulses with the slightly sweet bloody purée. Topped with roasted paprika coated chicken thighs.
Heat the oven to 200C, in one dish roast scrubbed beetroot cut into quarters in their skins. In a separate dish – roast the chicken thighs dusted with paprika. Both will take about 30 mins.
Meanwhile pan fry a finely diced onion in a little butter until softened. Season with salt. Add some smoked bacon and fry till browned. Dice carrot and celery into lentil sized pieces and stir in. Soften for few more minutes. Scatter in the puy lentils and a little more butter and stir until lentils are coated. Add chicken stock in small cupfuls (500ml in total to about 150g of lentils), cover and turn down the heat to let the lentils soak up the stock – stir occasionally and add stock by the cup to make sure they don’t catch and stick to the bottom of the pan.
After 3o mins or so – take out the beetroot and chicken. There will be plenty of chicken fat in the bottom of the roasted thighs. Pour this into a blender. Add the roasted beetroot (no need to remove the skins). Blitz. Pass through a sieve. Add the beetroot purée to the lentils. Stir to incorporate.