We love Duck, and we love Lentils too. So combining them is perfect. An elegant dish for a special meal.
This is a very easy recipe; quick to do and not at all complicated. It's the timing of things that needs attention but frankly the lentils can sit simmering for a few minutes if you get it wrong. I think beans braised in vegetable stock are a nice side, or just go for a salad if you want easy.
Browning the Duck takes a good 10-12 minutes. You want to get this right to seal in the juices and get a lovely skin. Don't rush this part!
I used the bags of Merchant Gourmet Ready to Eat Puy Lentils. They are precooked so it’s quick and easy. They do however have celery as a flavouring so if that’s an issue then cook your lentils from scratch and add a bay leaf for flavouring.
Free From: Dairy, Gluten, Soya, Nuts
Contains: Celery in Lentils
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
200g bacon lardons
1 onion – chopped
1/4 tsp Mace
1 tsp Ground Ginger
¼ Cup Red Wine
¼ Cup Chicken Stock
Salt and Pepper
4 Duck breasts - score the skin with a sharp knife - 2 or 3 cuts will do.
1/3 cup honey
350 g Ready to Eat Puy Lentils
Preheat oven to 200° C, 400° F
Grab a frying pan and add 1 tsp of olive oil, heat to sizzling then add the Duck breasts skin side down. They should sizzle nicely then they go in. After 5 minutes flip and brown on the other side. Add the honey and let it sizzle for a few moments and mix with the juices.
Once browned, put in a shallow oven proof dish with the hot honey and juices from the pan. Put in the hot oven for 8 minutes for very pink, 10 minutes for medium, 12 for well done. There are different opinions in our house about what the perfect colour is - so you'll see we have one picture with pink (10 minutes) and one will well done (12 minutes). Clearly well done is madness but that's family for you!
Deglaze the pan the Duck was cooked in with the red wine. Put the pan to the side – you will add this lovely mixture to the lentils in a few minutes.
While the Duck is cooking, grab another large frying pan. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to the pan and fry the lardons until brown. This takes about ten minutes to get them crispy (which is how I like them). After 5 minutes add the chopped onion.
Once the lardons are crispy add the Mace, Ground Ginger, Lentils, Stock and Wine mixture from the pan. Gently stir and let simmer. Season with salt and pepper.
Take the Duck from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes while you get your plates down, grab the salad and do some general tidying up.
Slice each Duck breast thickly (so you have 4 or 5 meaty slices) and arrange on the lentils. You don’t need rice or potatoes with this as the lentils are your ‘carb’. I like it with green beans braised for 7 minutes in vegetable stock. The beans go into the pan with hot stock when the Duck comes out (the resting and slicing time is about right for beans that still have a bite).
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