#ThatTranslatorCanCook Week Three: Citrus Chicken Lentils

This week’s recipe is not a traditionally French dish, but rather a necessary way to use up the several kilograms of lentils that have been taking up space in my husband’s cupboard since before I met him…

In order to find this recipe, I googled ‘recette lentilles’, because I was so desperate to find something other than dal to make with the copious amount of lentils in our kitchen! And I have to say, I was very pleased with the results.


My first dilemma came right at the beginning of the recipe, when I had to decide what to title this recipe. While the French titled it ‘Lentilles au poulet orange citron et vin blanc’, I decided that the English equivalent, ‘Lentils with Chicken, Orange, Lemon and White Wine’ was a little clunky. I toyed with ‘Orange and Lemon Chicken Lentils’, before plumping for ‘Citrus Chicken Lentils’, as I felt like this concisely summed up the main ingredients, whilst being pleasantly alliterative.

The recipe calls for tinned lentils, which, while available in England, I feel that they are less common than their dry counterparts. I therefore did a little research about how to correctly substitute the dry for the tinned and found this site. However, I would say that their suggestion is not hugely accurate, as when I prepared 115g of dried lentils, as suggested, to make 410g of cooked lentils, it actually only came up to about 250g…I would therefore recommend simply halving the number of tinned lentils and added this suggestion to my translation.

Agrumes vs. orange citron
Contrary to what I said early in my section about titles, I actually chose to translate ‘agrumes’ as ‘orange and lemon’ in the recipe itself. This was because I thought that it sounded a little odd to say ‘cut the citruses’ or ‘cut the citrus fruit’, as the body of recipes tend to be more specific than their titles.

In all honesty, there’s not much to say about the cooking process, as it’s a very quick and simple recipe, but I do have a few comments.

Chicken cooking in a frying pan

My first deviation from the recipe was to cook the chicken for a little bit longer than recommended. This is because I was using dried lentils, which would be warm from having been boiled and therefore wouldn’t need simmering together with the chicken for 15 minutes at the end.

Onion, lemon and orange frying in a frying pan.

My second deviation was to add garlic (as I’ve said before, my husband and both love garlic) and to add all of the orange and lemon, rather than two slices of each, as per the recipe. This is because I hate wasting food and also I’m a big fan of bold flavours. In all honesty, it wasn’t too citrus-y, so I think it was a good call!

Citrus Chicken Lentil dish in frying pan.
The final result!

Final Verdict: Okay, so it’s not the most beautiful looking meal, but it was damn tasty. I will definitely be making this again as my husband and I both gobbled it up!

Next week: I’ll be tackling a tricky Canadian favourite, inspired by my trip to Canada earlier this year…

Published by verityroat

Verity Roat BA CANTAB MA TRANSLATION CIOL Career Associate is a UK-based Arabic and French > English translator, Copy-writer, Copy-editor, Transcriber, Role-player & Tutor.

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