Roast Chicken Salad with Lentils and Cherries (4)

A recipe for the cherry season from Nigel Slater. You can use leftover roast chicken if you have some but keep the pieces as large and juicy as possible.

Roast Chicken Salad with Lentils and Cherries (4)
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Roast Chicken Salad with Lentils and Cherries (4)
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  1. Set the oven at 180C fan/gas mark 6. Put the chicken thighs, not too tightly packed, into a roasting tin. Pour over a little oil, then season with salt and black pepper and roast for 35-40 minutes until crisp-skinned and cooked right through to the bone. Remove from the oven and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. In a medium-sized saucepan, cook the lentils in deep, lightly salted boiling water for about 25 minutes till firm but tender.
  3. Make the dressing. In a small bowl, combine the red wine vinegar, mustard, olive oil, salt and several grinds of black pepper. Stir in the parsley and set aside. (I often put the ingredients in a tightly lidded jar and shake vigorously.)
  4. Wash the pea shoots and leave them in a bowl of iced water for 25 minutes (they will emerge a little crisper than when they went in). Halve and stone the cherries and add them to the dressing. Drain the lentils in a colander, then add them to the cherries and dressing and stir gently to coat them lightly with the dressing.
  5. Tear the chicken from the bone into generous, juicy pieces, large enough to require a knife and fork. Add the chicken to the cherries. Drain the pea shoots and dry them in a salad spinner or by shaking them in a colander. Combine with the chicken and serve.
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