Seared Chicken Thighs with Kumquats, Spiced Rice & Lentils

Seared Chicken Thighs

with Kumquats, Spiced Rice & Lentils

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Tonight’s recipe is inspired by mujadara, a traditional Middle Eastern dish of rice and lentils seasoned with aromatic spices. We’re letting our rice and lentils finish in a pan undisturbed, forming a crisp crust along the bottom—the hallmark of an exceptional mujadara. As a seasonal twist, thin slices of kumquat (whose edible peel is incredibly delicious!) add pops of bright, zesty flavor. We’re rounding it all out with juicy chicken and a lemony yogurt sauce.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    540 Cals (est.)
fresh
ingredients
Seared Chicken Thighs with Kumquats, Spiced Rice & Lentils
Title
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Thinly slice the kumquats into rounds; remove the seeds. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

Cook the lentils:
2 Cook the lentils:

Add the lentils to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 20 to 22 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly.

Cook the rice:
3 Cook the rice:

While the lentils cook, in a small pot, combine the rice, spice blend, ¾ of the garlic paste, a big pinch of salt and 1 cup of water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.

Cook the chicken:
4 Cook the chicken:

While the rice cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the seasoned chicken. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. Loosely cover the cooked chicken with aluminum foil and set aside in a warm place.

Finish the lentils & rice:
5 Finish the lentils & rice:

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. Add the cooked lentils and cooked rice. Using a spoon or spatula, stir to combine, then press the mixture down into the pan. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the rice begins to crisp along the bottom. Add the kumquats. Cook, without stirring, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the kumquats have softened slightly. Remove from heat and stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Make the yogurt sauce & serve your dish:
6 Make the yogurt sauce & serve your dish:

While the lentils and rice cook, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and as much of the remaining garlic paste as you’d like; drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the finished lentils and rice to a serving dish. Top with the cooked chicken and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with the yogurt sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Wash and dry the fresh produce. Heat a medium pot of salted water to boiling on high. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). Thinly slice the kumquats into rounds; remove the seeds. Quarter and deseed the lemon.

2 Cook the lentils:

Add the lentils to the pot of boiling water. Cook, uncovered, 20 to 22 minutes, or until al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Drain thoroughly.

Cook the rice:
3 Cook the rice:

While the lentils cook, in a small pot, combine the rice, spice blend, ¾ of the garlic paste, a big pinch of salt and 1 cup of water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook 12 to 14 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat and fluff the cooked rice with a fork.

4 Cook the chicken:

While the rice cooks, pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Working in batches, add the seasoned chicken. Cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan, transfer to a plate. Loosely cover the cooked chicken with aluminum foil and set aside in a warm place.

Cook the chicken:
Finish the lentils & rice:
5 Finish the lentils & rice:

Heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. Add the cooked lentils and cooked rice. Using a spoon or spatula, stir to combine, then press the mixture down into the pan. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the rice begins to crisp along the bottom. Add the kumquats. Cook, without stirring, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until the kumquats have softened slightly. Remove from heat and stir to thoroughly combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6 Make the yogurt sauce & serve your dish:

While the lentils and rice cook, in a small bowl, combine the yogurt, the juice of all 4 lemon wedges and as much of the remaining garlic paste as you’d like; drizzle with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the finished lentils and rice to a serving dish. Top with the cooked chicken and a drizzle of olive oil. Serve with the yogurt sauce on the side. Enjoy!

Make the yogurt sauce & serve your dish:
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