Though this is clearly a chicken recipe, it can be made vegan-friendly by simply omitting the chicken. The resulting lentil and kale stew is still quite delicious.
Preheat oven to 350 F. In a heavy bottomed pot with lid, or in a dutch oven, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and gently saute onion, garlic, and carrot over medium low heat with up to 2 Tbsp cumin, 3/4 tsp cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste, until fragrant, perhaps 5 minutes.
Add in lentils and a pinch more salt and stir to coat. Add in kale in a single layer, sprinkle with a touch of salt and pepper but DO NOT STIR into lentil mixture. Carefully add enough water to just cover lentils, but not submerge kale.
Place chicken (if using) on top of kale, and season with up to 1 Tbsp cumin and 1/4 tsp cinnamon, salt, and pepper, and then drizzle with a few more tablespoons of olive oil.
Bring covered pot to a simmer, then cook in 350 degree oven for 2-3 hours. When it's done, remove from the oven, stir any kale that's been dried out into the lentils to soften, and add 1/4 cup of currants or finely chopped apricots, and let the stew sit for 15 minutes before serving.
If you'd like, use the resting time to prepare whole wheat couscous or quinoa with pine nuts to serve under the stew.