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Lentils Braised in Red Wine with Seared Duck Breast

This dish looks suspiciously similar to my last chili recipe, but I assure you it serves a completely different purpose. Here, I paired delicious little dark green lentils with mirepoix and red wine, cooked them until the flavors melded, and was ready to host the little pieces of roasted duck breast. I made enough for a crowd, but you can halve this recipe for a family of four.

Lentils in red wine with roasted duck breast
Original recipe by Christina.
3 medium carrots (approximately), peeled and diced.
2-3 stalks of celery, cut into small cubes
1 small or medium red onion, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled, crushed and roughly chopped
1 tablespoon duck fat or olive oil
3 tablespoons of tomato paste
3 cups small green lentils
2 glasses of good red wine (I used French Côtes du Rhône)
2 cups of chicken broth
2-3 cups of warm water
1 fresh or dry bay leaf
2 large sprigs of fresh thyme
flat parsley, chopped
2 boneless duck breasts
sea ​​salt and freshly ground black pepper
Melt the duck fat (or olive oil, if using) in a heavy saucepan over medium-high heat.
Add carrot, celery and onion and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the garlic for another minute or two.
Add tomato paste and stir.
Add lentils, red wine, chicken stock, thyme sprigs and bay leaf.
Stir and bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils have absorbed most of the liquid, stirring occasionally, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Check the doneness of the lentils; they should be soft but not crumbly.
If the lentils run out of liquid before they are ready, add a little boiling water until the lentils are cooked.
Don't forget to grab thyme sprigs stripped of leaves and bay leaves.
To prepare the duck:
Before cooking the lentils, heat a skillet (cast iron works great for this) over high heat.
With a sharp knife, cut the fatty part of the duck breast into diamond-shaped pieces, being careful not to cut the meat. Season both sides of the duck with a pinch of sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper.
Place the duck breasts in the pan, fat side down, and cook, intact, until some of the fat is visible and the skin begins to brown. Lower the heat if necessary to prevent the duck from burning and burning the fat.
Turn the duck breasts over with tongs and brown for another 5 minutes.
Place the duck breast on a plate and cover with aluminum foil.
Add a small amount of red wine to the pan, skim the brown bits off the bottom of the pan and reduce the wine by two-thirds.
Pour all this deliciousness into your already prepared lentil dish.
Add the chopped parsley to the lentils and divide between hot bowls or plates.
Cut the duck breast into very thin slices with a very sharp knife and place on top of the lentils.
Open the same bottle of red wine you had with dinner.


Copyright © 2005-2010, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved

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