Duck breasts with lentil salad: a CardioKit recipe share

... from our recent workshop at Neston Farm Shop and Kitchen

Serves 4

Our recent supporters’ workshop at Neston Farm Shop and Kitchen was a huge success and was an excellent opportunity for attendees to ask questions and find out more information about how they can help themselves to lower blood pressure and work towards a healthier heart and lifestyle.

The guests were treated to a fabulous two course meal (duck breasts with lentil salad and a yoghurt panna cotta with raspberries and quinoa crumble) preluded by two stunning canapés (smoked mackerel on toast with celeriac slaw and a pea and feta mousse on little gem lettuce with salsa’d vegetables).

This dish is the duck main course and is a sumptuous and luxurious dish. This is mainly due to the duck, which is not a cheap ingredient. Nevertheless, it follows CardioKit advice and includes heart healthy ingredients.

Duck is an excellent source of protein and iron. It is also a source of saturated fat but, if you are aware of the CardioKit advice, you will know that this is no bad thing.

The lentils provide you with an exceptional source of dietary fibre along with folate and a whole host of other heart healthy vitamins and minerals.

There are so many healthy, vitamin and mineral rich ingredients in this dish such as fennel, which is high in vitamin C, and the nuts and seeds, which provide healthy fats and dietary fibre amongst other valuable nutrients.

Don’t just take our word for it though; try the recipe for yourself and let us know what you think.

2 heads of fennel including the fronds (or include a few sprigs of dill)

1 eating apple, peeled and cored

1 lemon plus juice of half a lemon

200g hazelnuts

100g flaked almonds

200g pumpkin seeds

2 tbsps. honey

4 duck breasts

a few sprigs, thyme

1 large onion, finely diced

1 carrot, finely diced

1 celery stick, finely diced

1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely diced

3 tomatoes, pureed to a passata like mixture in a food blender

300g puy lentils, washed

800ml chicken stock or just water

a couple of large handfuls of fresh green herbs – use tarragon, mint, parsley, dill, chervil, or preferably a mixture

2 spring onions

rapeseed oil

salt and pepper

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C (fan)/gas 4
  2. Thinly slice the fennel and apple: the thinner the better. Squeeze over the juice of half a lemon and toss well to coat the apple and prevent it from browning. Leave to marinade to soften the fennel.
  3. On a lined baking tray, scatter the hazelnuts, flaked almonds and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle over a tbsp. of honey and a little rapeseed oil and toss the nuts and seeds through. Toast the mixture in the oven for around 10 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven, keeping the oven on for later and leave the granola to cool.
  4. Run a sharp knife across the skin of the duck breasts without piercing it. To make the dry rub for the duck, simply mix the leaves from the thyme, the zest from the one lemon, salt and pepper. Rub generously and leave for the flavours to infuse.
  5. Gently fry the onion, carrot and celery in 1tsp of rapeseed oil until softened (about 10 minutes on a low heat). Crush in the garlic and fry for a further couple of minutes.
  6. Add the blended tomatoes and the lentils in to the vegetable mix (also known as a soffritto) and season well.
  7. Pour in most of the chicken stock and simmer until the lentils are cooked (check packet for cooking times) and the stock has evaporated. You may need to add more stock or water if the liquid evaporates too quickly.
  8. Remove the lentils from the heat and stir through the fresh herbs. Leave to one side.
  9. On a medium/high heat pre-heat a frying pan a little larger than the duck breasts you are cooking. Do not add any fat.
  • Once the pan starts to smoke place the duck breasts skin side down. Let the fat render down, watching the pan doesn’t get too hot and burn. Once the skin is crispy turn the duck skin side up and put into your oven. How long you cook for is up to you. For a medium rare duck breast it is usually about 6/7 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven; add a large tablespoon of honey and the juice from the lemon to marinade the duck. Leave to rest.
  • Take the marinated apple and fennel and dress in rapeseed oil. Scatter in the chopped spring onions, fennel tops (or dill), and season well.

To finish

To put it together I like to serve the lentils hot on the base although you can let your lentils cool down and eat at room temperature.

  1. Spoon a quarter of the lentil mixture on to each plate and top with the fennel salad.
  2. Slice the duck at an angle and place on top with a few tablespoons of the sauce poured over.
  3. Sprinkle over the granola and enjoy!
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