Swell Supper: New Year’s Lucky Lentils

by Dec 26th, 2010 // Swell Suppers, Uncategorized

Swell Supper: New Year’s Lucky Lentils

Hi, it’s Macki with another Swell Supper. I just love family traditions and this week I am paying homage to my awesome Italian baby daddy with a lucky New Year’s Day tradition. In Italy, and other areas in Europe, serving lentils on New Year’s Day is said to bring luck and riches (the lentils symbolize small coins). So we’re serving up Italian Lentil and Chicken Stew with Artisan Bread. I did a little research on other traditions and some parts of the world serve rice, so for dessert cook up some Rice Krispie Treats for a modern interpretation.

On New Year’s Eve, before you head out to your festivities, start your artisan bread. I must admit that I was hesitant to make my own bread. Growing up my mom decided that we would make our own bread, she even went a step further and bought whole wheat and a grinder to make flour (no, this was not the 1800’s, it was 1986!).  My moms bread was fun to make, but it was so dense and blah and nothing like the wonder bread I craved. The recipe for this artisan bread is so delicious, light and easy I had to read it ten times to make sure I wasn’t forgetting something.

When you wake up punch down your bread dough according to the recipe and get your crock pot out for the lentil stew (the recipe calls for stove top, but I used the crock pot so I could leave it all day to cook). Sauté the onion and garlic, then add everything but the chicken to the crock pot and cook for about 6-8 hours on high.  Time to put your bread dough in the oven, my favorite part!  I used my 5.5 quart dutch oven and it turned out perfect. The lentil recipe calls for rotisserie chicken, an alternative is to brown two bone in split breasts and add to the crock pot about 4 hours before it’s finished. When the crock pot has 45 minutes left on the clock, remove the chicken, shred it and put it back in the crock or shred the rotisserie chicken. Make some quick cook brown rice. Now it’s time to start on dessert. Prepare the rice krispie treats according to the recipe and call your family to dinner. Now doesn’t that sound swell? Felice Anno Nuovo or Happy New Year!

I love feeding this to my little Italian man, it’s such a healthy and tasty meal and we are bringing an old tradition to the new generation.  I think New Year’s Day is going to be a favorite in our home, especially the home made artisan bread!

Italian Lentil & Chicken Stew!

14 Comments on “Swell Supper: New Year’s Lucky Lentils”

  1. 1.) Misti
    December 26th, 2010

    Great idea for New Years! Thanks for posting.

  2. 2.) Heather
    December 26th, 2010

    The bread looks great… I might give it a try.

  3. 3.) Tabitha
    December 26th, 2010

    This recipe look easily vegetarianafiable since the chicken is an add-in. My daughter is a vegetarian, but the rest of aren',t so finding recipes like this is wonderful

  4. 4.) Macki
    December 27th, 2010

    You are right, it is very easy to leave out the chicken and serve this vegetarian style. Very tasty either way!

  5. 5.) Penelope
    December 26th, 2010

    Sounds great for dinner. I never made lentils in the crockpot, always on the stovetop. Have to try this no fuss recipe.

  6. 6.) mountain girl
    December 26th, 2010

    The lentils look awesome…so does the bread!

  7. 7.) maisie
    December 26th, 2010

    great recipe looks awesome

  8. 8.) @paulajakobs
    December 27th, 2010

    Funny, it's a czech tradition too (at least in my family).

  9. 9.) Macki
    December 27th, 2010

    The first time I had Lentils on New Years Day was with a Czech friend! I was excited when I met my man and found out the Italians have the same tradition.

  10. 10.) Allison
    December 27th, 2010

    What a great idea for New Year's! My kids and I love lentils, so I think I'll try it. And I love that you can easily make the stew vegetarian or not, depending on who's eating it.

  11. 11.) ButterYum
    December 27th, 2010

    Lol – love your rice interpretation :). Paired with yummy lentils and bread – well, it's a perfect meal in my mind.


  12. 12.) krissy
    December 28th, 2010

    That photo of the bread is causing me to have a major carb craving!

  13. 13.) RosalindEve
    December 29th, 2010

    I am so scared of making bread but this looks so yummy that I might give it a try!

  14. 14.) Rebecca
    December 29th, 2010

    "what not to eat
    In addition to the aforementioned lucky foods, there are also a few to avoid. Lobster, for instance, is a bad idea because they move backwards and could therefore lead to setbacks. Chicken is also discouraged because the bird scratches backwards, which could cause regret or dwelling on the past. Another theory warns against eating any winged fowl because good luck could fly away.

    Read More http://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/holidays

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