1. Warm a large frying pan over a medium-high heat for 2 mins, then add 1 tbsp oil, the chicken thighs (skin-side down) and drumsticks. Fry for 10 mins, turning once, to brown the chicken on both sides. When the thighs and drumsticks are golden brown, they are ready. If your frying pan is a little too small to fry everything at the same time, fry them in batches, using ½ tbsp oil for each batch.
2. While the chicken fries, peel and finely chop the onions. Thickly slice the mushrooms. From this point, either follow the method for either the slow cooker or the oven.
3. In the slow cooker^
Lift the chicken thighs and drumsticks out of the pan and pop them in a 3½ ltr slow cooker. Add the onions and mushrooms to the chicken. Drain the lentils and add them to the slow cooker.
4. Peel and crush or grate the garlic. Peel and grate or finely chop the ginger. Put them both in a heatproof jug. Add 1 level tbsp miso (keep any extra for later) and pour in all the honey. Stir in 600ml boiling water to dissolve the honey and miso. Add the miso mix to the slow cooker.
5. Put a lid on the slow cooker, set it to medium and cook the chicken and lentils for 6 hrs. For a faster cook, you can set the slow cooker to high and cook the braise for 4 hrs, or take your time and cook at low for 8 hrs.
6. When the braise has 30 mins cooking time left, tip the rice into a large bowl and cover with cold water. Whisk (you can use a fork) till the water goes cloudy (this is the starch). Drain the rice, give it an extra rinse under the cold tap, then tip it into a medium pan. Add 600ml boiling water and a good pinch of salt
7. Pop a lid on the rice pan, turn up the heat and bring to the boil. Once it’s boiling, turn the heat right down and very gently simmer for 10 mins till all the water has been absorbed. Take the rice off the heat and leave it to steam in the pan, lid on, for 5-10 mins to finish cooked the rice.
8. Taste the braise and stir in a little more miso if you think it needs some extra oomph. Fork the spinach into the braise to wilt it. Fluff the rice with a fork and spoon into warm bowls. Top with the chicken, lentils, mushrooms and the juices from the slow cooker.
9. In the oven^ Heat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Lift the chicken out of the frying pan and pop it into an ovenproof dish or casserole dish (you can fry the chicken in the casserole dish if its hobproof too).
10. Add the onions and mushrooms to the pan with 2 tbsp water. Keep the heat to medium-low and fry for 8-10 mins till the onions have softened and the mushrooms are juicy. Add them to the chicken (or return the chicken to the pan if you’re frying in a casserole dish).
11. While the veg cook, drain the lentils. Peel and crush the garlic. Peel and grate the ginger. Put them both in a heatproof jug. Add 1 level tbsp miso (keep any extra for later) and pour in the honey. Stir in 600ml boiling water.
12. Add the drained lentils and the miso mix to the chicken and veg.
13. Pop a lid on the dish, or cover it with foil and scrunch it to seal the foil to the sides Slide into the oven and cook for 1½ hrs.
14. When the braise has 30 mins cooking time left, cook the rice. Taste the braise and add a little more miso if you think it needs it. Add the spinach to the braise and fork it in to wilt it. Serve the cooked rice with the chicken, lentils, veg and juices from the dish.