I was in a bad mood today when I left work. So instead of going straight home, I took myself to the coop. Lucky for me, I had a cookbook in the car (you know, just in case!). I scanned quickly. What would not break the bank, not take all night to cook, but take long enough to make to distract me with a fair amount of dicing and stirring? I settled on this lentil sausage stew. I almost omitted the meat and replaced it with maitake mushrooms which, believe it or not, I've never eaten, but I thought everyone would be happier with the garlic chicken sausage I found. And we were.
Lentil Sausage Stew (adapted from Tom Valenti's Soups, Stews, and One Pot Meals)
1 lb garlic chicken sausage, casings removed, chopped or rolled into mini balls
1 large onion, diced
1 large carrot, diced
1/4 celeriac or 2 celery stalks, diced
6 garlic cloves, sliced
4 c French lentils
1 T olive oil
4 c + 2 c chicken stock
1 bay leaf
1 t dried thyme
1/2 T salt
In a Dutch Oven or medium-large saucepan, saute sausage over low heat until browned. Remove to paper towel lined plate. In fat from sausage, saute onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, 8-10 min over low heat, until onions are translucent but not browned. Add lentils and olive oil, and then 4 c chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil and then lower heat. Simmer 10 min. Add 2 more cups of stock, and then add the browned sausage to pot. Simmer 30 min or until lentils are soft but not mushy. Check seasoning and garnish with special olive oil, croutons, or fresh herbs.