A Duck Dinner… Crispy Duck, Balsamic Lentils and Onion Puree

I think this is my husband’s absolute favourite dinner. He calls it his favourite paleo meal.I just love it because the flavours work really well together and it is a good meal for when friends come over as you can prepare everything in advance and just finish the duck 15 minutes before dinner needs to be served. Nothing worse than being stuck in the kitchen when friends are over!. People love duck but often keep it for when the go out to dinner, believing it is hard to cook. This recipe is really easy if you buy your own.. I usually buy a load of duck legs and confit them and slow cook overnight. They then keep in the fridge under the fat for ages so it is really handy as they take so little time to cook after that. I love lentils too, I remember growing up we had potatoes every day, it just wasn’t dinner without them,so I consider lentils my spud substitute!

For the Crispy Duck
2 Cooked Duck Legs Confit Style – you can buy these in many good delicatessens or prepare your own, its straightforward, just takes a while. See here.
Duck fat for those reading in Ireland is available widely in shops; I usually buy on line at larousse foods when I need to stock up on some pantry essentials.

Turn oven on to 150C
Put a big frying pan on medium to high heat and add duck legs skin side down
Cook until the skin is browned and crisp – about 10 minutes
Transfer to a tray in the oven and bake until completely golden brown about 12-15 minutes.
Serve with the balsamic lentils and Onion Puree.

Balsamic Lentils Recipe from Neven Maguire
6oz cooked puy lentils (Just cook in water for 10/15 minutes according to your pack)
15ml balsamic vinegar
30ml Madeira
Pinch Dark brown sugar
10floz veal stock or other good rich meat stock

Heat a small pot and when it is hot, add in the balsamic vinegar and Madeira and let it bubble
Turn heat down to medium and reduce to half
Add stock and reduce by 1/3
Taste, add pinch of brown sugar if necessary
Add the cooked lentils and on a medium heat, heat until lentils are warm

Onion puree
This puree is really delicious, sweet and full of flavour, not just good with this duck but also with any poultry. Also great with a piece of beef.
5 medium onions sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1oz butter
100ml or milk or milk and cream combo

Heat the oil and butter together on medium heat and add the onions. Stir to coat the onions, season with salt and cook with the lid on until the onions are totally soft but with no colour. It is essential you do this on a low heat to ensure the onions don’t catch or start to colour.
When they are soft add the milk and/or cream and bring to the boil
Taste and season if needed
Blend and sieve through a medium sieve if still not smooth enough. (Dont use a very fine one or it will end up too liquidy!

Serve with the duck and lentils and enjoy….

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