Cooking time: 45 minutes
YOU WILL NEED
6 duck breasts (skin on)
Salt and pepper
For the spiced lentils 1 red onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ red chilli
½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp fresh ginger root, peeled and grated
½ tsp ground paprika
½ tsp ground cloves
100ml olive oil
1 tbsp boiling water
200g puy lentils
200ml red wine
1 tbsp soy sauce
Handful fresh coriander
1 lime, zest and juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp sugar, or to taste (or to reduce the heat) For the caramelised apples 2 Bramley cooking apples, peeled and cored
2 tbsps caster sugar
1 lemon, juice and zest
1 tbsp sweet liqueur
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Season the duck with salt and pepper.
Place a shallow frying pan over a high heat, then drizzle some honey into the pan. When it starts to bubble, add the duck breasts, skin-side down, two at a time. Do not overcrowd the frying pan.
Reduce the heat and cook until golden on each side – approximately one to two minutes on each side. Remove and start again for all six breasts.
When all six are done, transfer to a baking tray. Keep the liquid and reduce at low heat for 10 minutes. Use this for serving.
To make the spiced lentils, place the onion, garlic, chilli, ginger, paprika and cloves into a blender. Add the olive oil and boiling water, then blend to a smooth paste.
In a saucepan, fry the paste in the butter for three minutes at a high heat. Add the lentils, wine and soy sauce. Cook over a medium heat for 35 minutes, or until cooked.
Add the coriander, lime juice and zest, and season with salt and pepper. Add some sugar if necessary.
In the meantime, place the duck in the oven on the middle shelf, skin-side up, and cover with tin foil. You can also place a bain-marie of water in the bottom shelf – this keeps the duck moist.
Cook for about eight minutes, or until cooked to medium. You can cook for longer, if required.
Remove and allow to stand for four minutes. For the caramelised apples, cut the peeled apples into large segments. Put the butter in a frying pan, then add the apples, sugar, and lemon zest and juice.
Lightly fry for one minute, then add the liqueur. Continue cooking for a further one to two minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
Serve immediately. Place the duck in the centre of the dinner plate, cut into slices. On one side, fan four segments of apple. On the other side, spoon a portion of the puy lentils.
This recipe works really well with potato fondants (see above). You can also spoon some of the reserved honey reduction over the duck.
Top tip: If the lentils are too spicy, add some sugar.
Andrew Rudd runs Medley, a private dining and venue hire on Drury Street, Dublin 2. www.medley.ie.