An Autumn Dish of Duck, Quince and Lentils
Much as I love summer food, there's a side of me getting all excited about preparing more substantial dishes and the arrival of gorgeous pumkins, quinces and wild mushrooms in the markets.
The following recipe is not a really quick one to prepare, but is a good choice for Sunday lunch or a dinner party.
4 duck legs, 2 duck breasts, 500ml chicken stock, 120g green olives (Picholine if you can find them), 1 quince, 1 lemon
For the marinade: 1 onion, 5 cloves garlic, 1 untreated lemon, 3 sprigs of flat parsely, 1 tablespoon of ground cumin,
120ml of dry sherry
For the lentils: 400g green lentils (such as Puy), 1 shallot, 2 bay leaves, 1 tbsp. olive oil, 30g butter
Start by making the marinade. Peel the garlic, peel and coarsely chop the onion and the parsley, grate the zest of the lemon and squeeze its juice. Mix all of the above with the sherry.
Prick the duck skin all over with a fork and cover the pieces with the marinade. Season generously with salt and pepper. Leave to marinade for at least 30 minutes. Remove the duck from the marinade and pat dry with kitchen paper. Take the onion and garlic out of the marinade and reserve; reserve the marinade also. Brown the duck on all sides in a cast iron or heavy-bottomed dish. Set aside. Discard the rendered fat, but do not wipe the dish. Sauté the onion and garlic in the dish for about 3 minutes, during which time you can peel and core the quince. Cut the quince into 8 pieces, add it to the pan and carry on cooking another 2 minutes. Add the duck pieces back into the pan, pour over the marinade and the stock. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce the heat; cook gently bubbling for 30 minutes.
During that time gently sweat the chopped shallots and the lentils in the olive oil in a large saucepan, stirring for 2 minutes. Then cover with cold water and add the 2 bay leaves. Bring to the boil, cook for 20 minutes. At the end of the cooking time, when the lentils are done, add the butter and season with salt and pepper.
Peel the lemon and separate it into segments. Add the lemon segments and the green olives to the duck casserole after 30 minutes cooking time and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes.
Serve hot accompanied by the lentils.