Smoked Duck and Lentils with Lavender

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Smoked Duck and Lentils with Lavender

Smoked Duck and Lentils with Lavender

If you have time, hot-smoke your duck at home using a wok, otherwise substitute a cold-smoked, air-dried duck, sliced and served as a salad with the hot lentils. Either way, corn-fed and free-range birds give the best flavor, and the combination of honey, lavender and orange works well.
Ingredients

– SERVES 4.
– PREPARATION TIME 20 minutes.
– COOKING TIME 35 minutes.
– FOR THE CANDIED ORANGE ZEST.
– 1 large orange, washed and scrubbed.
– 2 tablespoons sugar.
– FOR THE SMOKED DUCK.
– ½ cup basmati rice.
– 3 tablespoons green tea.
– 1 teaspoon sugar.
– 2 small lavender sprigs.
– 1 tablespoon canola oil.
– 2 duck breasts, about 7 ounces each.
– 1 tablespoon honey.
– a few chervil leaves.
– FOR THE LENTILS.
– 1 cup Puy lentils, picked over and rinsed.
– 1 onion, finely chopped.
– 2 cloves.
– 1 bouquet garni, made with 1 thyme sprig and 1 parsley sprig, tied together with kitchen string.
– 3 tablespoons unsalted butter.
– sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Instructions

Step 1: To make the candied orange zest, use a sharp knife or vegetable peeler to pare the zest from the orange into fine strips, cutting away the pith. Put the zest in a small saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and drain the zest, then refresh it under cold water and drain again. Repeat this blanching process.
Step 2: Return the zest to the pan over low heat and add the sugar and 3 tablespoons water, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat and bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to low and simmer 4 to 5 minutes until the zest becomes transparent. Remove the pan from the heat and leave the orange strips to cool in the syrup.
Step 3: Put a large piece of aluminum foil, shiny-side down, in the bottom of a wok or steamer. Add the rice, tea, sugar and 1 lavender sprig, and drizzle with the canola oil. Cover with a wire rack or steamer insert and lid, then put over medium heat 5 minutes, or until the mixture starts to smoke. Quickly put the duck breasts inside, cover with foil to help seal the duck, then put the lid on, turn the heat to low and smoke 5 minutes.
Step 4: Meanwhile, put the lentils in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then skim off any foam that rises to the surface. Add the onion, cloves and bouquet garni, turn the heat down to low and simmer 5 to 7 minutes until they are just tender. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then strain and discard the flavorings.
Step 5: When the duck is almost ready, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Turn off the heat under the smoker, lift out the duck and put the lid back on the smoker. Put the duck, skin-side down, in the skillet and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the duck over, brush the skin with the honey and sprinkle a little of the remaining lavender over, then cook 5 minutes longer. Lift out, cover with foil and leave to rest, quickly discarding the foil with the smoking ingredients.
Step 6: Heat a nonstick skillet until hot. Add the butter and lentils and stir-fry a few minutes until hot. Cut the duck into chunks and serve on top of the lentils, sprinkled with the orange zest strips with a little of the syrup, the chervil leaves and a pinch more lavender.

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