I’m sure you all heard or read about the Swiss National Bank’s dramatic economic move this past week: that’s right, it’s the Swiss Franc I’m talking about. Without warning, sneaky as we are, our National bank decided to get rid of the cap they had placed on the Euro-CHF exchange rate in 2011. The Swiss Franc is now, as all other currencies, floating freely. How deceivingly lovely that sounds. Regarding food shopping – it’s a dream with France and Germany only one hill away – perfect for a maniac like myself! As soon as my next inspiration struck I decided to hit the road and cross borders – top on my list: Duck and Lentils. C’est français n’est pas? Alors, l’excuse parfaite pour acheter ces ingrédients en France. In all seriousness, I should probably be supporting the Swiss economy after last weeks madness….. maybe next time :-).
Honey Glazed Duck with Spiced Lentils and Mash
adapted from bbc.co.uk/food
3 large duck breasts or 4 small ones
3tbsp runny honey
for the Lentils
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
½ red chilli, chopped
½ tsp ground ginger (I would add 1/4 next time to start off with)
½ tsp ground chilli (I would add 1/4 next time to start off with)
½ tsp ground cloves (I would add 1/4 next time to start off with)
½ tsp ground mace (I did not have any so added some garam masala instead, worked just fine)
knob of butter
100g/3½oz Puy lentils
150ml/5fl oz red wine
2 limes, zest and juice (I would add only one next time)
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
creamy mash, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 220C fan.
- For the lentils blend the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli in a processor with the ground spices, and a drop of water until you have a paste. Fry the paste in a little butter for a few minutes, stirring all the time.
- Add the lentils and wine and simmer gently, covered, for 20-30 minutes until the lentils are cooked.
- Meanwhile, for the duck, heat a dry large frying pan and add the honey. Cook over a low heat until golden and bubbling.
- Be sure to have scored the skin of your breasts before using. Place the duck breasts in the pan, skin-side down. Season with salt and black pepper and move around in the pan, so as to coat the duck breasts with honey. Cook for 2-3 minutes in total in the pan.
- Place the duck breasts into a roasting tin, skin-side up. Pour the honey from the pan over the top. Place in the oven for 8-10 mins, until cooked to your liking, remove, cover with aluminium and allow to rest before slicing.
- Once the time is up, remove the lentils from the heat and add your various lime bits and soy sauce. Season with salt and black pepper.
- Slice your duck into equal size pieces, serve on a bed of mash with the lentils and drizzle with some of the honey sauce. NOM.
Definitely has potential, but the original amount of spice is clearly too much…. And my lentils somehow took ages to cook, so that after 35 mins I gave up and just ate them how they were – a tad too chewy for my taste…